Business Member Spotlight

Business Member Spotlight: Bill Volckening Quilts

Our business member for December is Bill Volckening, quilt appraiser extraordinaire (and subject of much envy after he won the medallion quilt raffle at the guild meeting on Thursday.) How does Bill know so much about quilt history? Find out below! 



What makes your business special or different than others in your industry? 

Most of my involvement with quilts has been philanthropic and related to my personal collection. I started my business in response to a variety of quilt-related requests from the community, and the business is my vehicle for responding to these requests. Much of the work is appraising and photographing completed quilts, both new and old, but I have worked with clients on a variety of projects.

How long have you been doing this? 

Three years. I have collected quilts for 25 years. I also have a creative background, which includes study at Rhode Island School of Design, School of Visual Arts in New York (BFA in Photography 1988), International Center of Photography and New York University (MA in Studio Art and Photography 1991). 

What’s the most important thing you’ve had to learn to do your job well? 

If I do not have an answer, knowing where to find it or who to ask is key. 

What do you see as a significant aesthetic trend right now? 

Modern quilting, of course – geometric pieced quilts – and I see a lot of interest in certain kinds of antique and vintage quilts, especially improvisational design and mid-century modern. According to friends who went to Houston this year, handwork is making a big comeback. I think it may have something to do with being portable, something you can pull out of your bag on an airplane. 

What’s the strangest thing a customer has ever asked you? 

People have a lot of questions about their quilts, and they are usually very good questions. One request I receive fairly often is to appraise quilts from photos, but I must see the quilts in person to appraise them. People also ask if I am interested in buying when I am in the process of evaluating a quilt for an appraisal, but I will not engage in trade transactions when appraising. Oh, and Sam Hunter (of Hunters Design Studio) will appreciate this…I sometimes get asked to provide free “ballpark” valuations on quilts. In those situations, I offer verbal assessments with a per hour fee. 

Any new products or services you’d like to mention? 

In January I will be offering a webinar about quilt history with Quilters Newsletter. If it goes well, there may be a series of webinars. A new book will be available in April, possibly sooner. It will be a coffee table book about my New York Beauty quilt collection, published by Quiltmania in France. I am also working with another publisher on a potential series of pattern books using antique and vintage quilts from my collection as inspiration. 

In addition to the special exhibits I am planning at QuiltCon and Pour l’Amour du Fil in 2015, I will be the featured guest at the Airing of the Quilts in Milwaukie in March, and will exhibit 1970s quilts at the Benton County Museum in Philomath, Oregon during 2015 Quilt County from August to October.  

"Rick Rack Tiles" will be part of Bill's special exhibit at QuiltCon.


Why do you like being a business member of PMQG? 

It is a simple way to support the guild and its members. I enjoy being a beacon for information about quilts, quilt history and the quilt marketplace. I also love meeting guild members who approach me with questions and queries. PMQG is an impressive organization, full of talent and creativity. Offering something unique to the guild makes me happy. 

If you couldn’t work in the quilting/sewing world, what would your dream job be?

Antiques dealer during the rainy season, and Plein Air landscape painter in the non-rainy season. 

Business Info

Bill Volckening Quilts
1220 NW 119th Place
Portland, OR 97229
Phone: 503-327-3202
Web site: www.billvolckening.com

Business Member Spotlight: Just Quilting

Thanks to Nancy Stovall's Just Quilting for being our business member for November! Nancy's here to tell us a little more about her longarm quilting business. 


The view from Nancy's studio


What makes your business special or different than others in your industry?
My education is in textiles, but my calling is quilting! I do this full-time, so whether your quilt is modern or traditional, new or vintage, big or small, I’ll make sure that the quilting I do is just right for your quilt.


How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been sewing since I was 8 years old, but I blame quilting on my mother-in-law, who got me started with a block-of-the-month project. I first rented time on a longarm machine in 1996 and started quilting full time in 2009. I’ve never looked back.



What’s the most important thing you’ve had to learn to do your job well?
There’s a balance between developing good technique and artistic expression. I look at each quilt as a collaboration between the piecer and myself. There are literal and figurative layers in a quilt; if I understand the story of the quilt, I'll know how best to quilt it.

What do you see as a significant aesthetic trend right now? 
One color trend I’m seeing is toward turqoise and red combinations, but I’m definitely seeing more modern quilt tops coming my way. New quilters love the aesthetic, and many traditional quilters are excited by the colors and patterns that are showing up (and showing off) in modern quilts. One of my customers is 87 years old, and she’s nuts about Tula Pink!

What’s the strangest thing a customer has ever asked you? 
A couple of years ago I was asked to quilt some experimental fabric for a military application. That’s all I can say!



Any new products or services you’d like to mention? 
I’m super excited to announce my longarm rental program! If you’ve ever wanted the longarm studio experience, you can rent time on “Manny.” A true longarm, this great free-motion machine has a 20-inch throat space and will accomodate quilts up to 12 feet wide. I’m giving PMQG members a discounted rate! 


Why do you like being a business member of PMQG? 
I love being a member, period. I’m constantly being inspired by the amazing creativity and sharing among this community. But being a business member gives me additional opportunities to introduce more people to longarm quilting. It’s my contribution.  

If you couldn’t work in the quilting/sewing world, what would your dream job be?
Lately it seems that if I’m not quilting, I’m taking pictures. Sometimes I’m taking pictures of quilting . . . but I love to travel, so if I had to give up quilting I’d probably be doing travel photography. Traveling to quilt shows? Yeah, that’d work.





Business Info: 
Just Quilting
2738 SE 15th Ave. 
Portland, OR 97202

503.234.0403
justquiltingpdx.com
facebook.com/justquilting

Business Member Spotlight: Cool Cottons

Cool Cottons is our business member for October. Thanks to owner Marie for supporting PMQG--and for telling us a little more about this wonderful fabric shop!

It's the best fabric shop on Hawthorne! 

What makes your business special or different than others in your industry?  
I would like to think it our exceptional customer service. Our employees Linda Nussbaum & Teresa Coates are supremely talented, helping you choose the perfect fabrics just scratches the surface of their many areas of expertise. Plus we're in a great old house that showcases fabric beautifully.        

How long have you been doing this?  
I can't believe it but we are coming up on 8 years! 

What's the most important thing you’ve had to learn to do your job well?   
Pick one thing and try to do it  really well rather than doing a lot of things half way. Since we are a small space, we concentrate on cool modern fabrics and leave the buttons, trims, etc. to other shops that do those well.                                             

What do you see as a significant aesthetic trend right now?   
I don't see anything specific. Maybe things are in transition but everyone seems to be all over the place ... it makes things very interesting. 

What’s the strangest thing a customer has ever asked you?  
I had a guy ask me to hem his pants while he was wearing them. 





Any new products or services you’d like to mention?  
Since Teresa has come on board there has been talk of bringing back some classes/instruction/groups/allaroundfunstuff.  Nothing solid yet, but we'll post on our website and facebook when we have specifics.  Oh, and watch for a birthday promotion in 2015 (spoiler...you get the presents).    

Why do you like being a business member of PMQG?  
I think the PMQG does a good job of highlighting local shops and encouraging members to shop local. As a small business I cannot tell you how much that means to us.  Thank you.  In turn,  I am happy to support the guild.  I love seeing the projects you all are working on.  I especially love the medallion-along, what a great alternative to a block of the month.                                                       

If you couldn’t work in the quilting/sewing world, what would your dream job be?  
None ... I would retire and have the best small garden in the world! 

Business Info:

Cool Cottons
2417 SE Hawthorne Blvd
Portland, OR 97214


503.232.0417
http://www.coolcottons.biz

Business Member Spotlight: All Quilted

All Quilted is our business member for May. Thanks to owner Debbie Scroggy for supporting PMQG-- and for telling us a little more about her long arm quilting business! 
Debbie Scroggy at the NW Quilters show in May



What makes your business special or different than others in your industry? 

I offer easy pick-up and delivery: I meet customers at their favorite quilt shops. I’m still promising a four-week turn-around and can often facilitate rush jobs with no expediting fees. My quilt “Brighter Days” just won the 1st place ribbon for computer guided quilting at the NW Quilters, Inc. quilt show at the Expo Center in Portland.  Three quilts that I quilted for customers won ribbons as well.


"Brighter Days," Debbie's prizewinning quilt!



How long have you been doing this?

I have been quilting for customers for one year—my first customer came to me on May 21 last year.



What’s the most important thing you’ve had to learn to do your job well?

Patience. There is no rushing a good quilting job—it will take as long as it takes.  Also, taming the “tension” beast—the bane of all long arm quilters.  Heck, the bane of all quilters!  I have quilts in my house that I quilted on my domestic machine before acquiring my long arm—and the backs are completely unraveling—nasty.  Now my tension is always lovely.

What do you see as a significant aesthetic trend right now?

I love the effect of simple quilting lines—a simple serpentine or gentle undulating curves can be just perfect!  I also love the dramatic “zentangle” designs that are quite intricate, and delicious!  It seems that nobody like stipples anymore!


Stitched by Diana Alexander, quilted by Debbie Scroggy



What’s the strangest thing a customer has ever asked you? 

“Just do what you want.” To which I always reply, “OK, I’ll quilt pink flamingos all over your quilt!” —with a smile, of course.  I spend lots of time with my customers as they look over my quilted samples so we can pick a design and scale that will be sure to make them happy, happy, happy when they see their quilt quilted.

Any new products or services you’d like to mention? 

I’m upgrading my robotics system this summer to help me more efficiently do the custom work that some quilts cry for.  



Why do you like being a business member of PMQG? 

I am constantly blown away by the creativity and productivity of PMQG members.  It is a routine event to sit in a guild meeting with multiple book authors and/or pattern designers in the group.  I find it truly inspiring!

If you couldn’t work in the quilting/sewing world, what would your dream job be?

I am a retired CPA and I truly love what I’m doing right now.  I love taking in quilt tops that I find to be quite fragile, and returning them to my customers with the stability and structure that quilting provides, in addition to the complementary design and thread color of the quilting.  The very best thing is my customers’ delight at seeing their quilts quilted.

My children are spread all over the country and I’m telling my husband that we need to full-time RV when he retires so we can spend time with all of them—but then I think of having to stop long arming and it gives me pause.  Maybe there is a traveling long arm business in my future!

Business Info:  
All Quilted, LLC

located near Wilsonville, OR

Owner: Debbie Scroggy


Phone:  (503) 704-4739
Web site:  www.allquilted.com  






Business Member Spotlight: Bolt Fabric Boutique

Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Boutique is our business member for March. Thanks to owner Gina Cadenasso for supporting PMQG-- and for telling us a little more about her shop. PMQG members receive a 10% discount on purchases, so stop by and say hello!




What makes your business special or different than other shops? 
Bolt offers a curated collection of a wide range of fabrics, including cotton prints for quilting, crafting and apparel sewing, wool, rayon, linen, knits, denim, and cotton for apparel and accessories, as well as home dec fabric.  We’re often told we have trims and fabrics that people don’t see other places.  We also have a fantastic staff—I think that makes Bolt a special place!


The Bolt staffers hit the beach


How long have you been doing this?
8 and a half years.

What’s the most important thing you’ve had to learn to do your job well?
I think learning what is necessary for me to do and what I can ask others to do has been essential.  



What do you see as a significant aesthetic trend right now? 
I think people are valuing traditional fabrics more than I’ve noticed in the past.  When I first opened it was hard to sell Japanese indigo fabrics, but now they fly out the door when we have them, as well as ikats.  And, of course, there continues to be a focus on solids and simplified designs as far as quilting goes.  I think hand stitching and embroidery continue to gain popularity too.

What’s the strangest thing a customer has ever asked you? 
We all really delight in the wide range of questions and projects our customers have. 

Any new products or services you’d like to mention? 
We just started offering scissor sharpening services.  Our customers continued to ask, so we’ve got it set up. We’ll post details on the blog soon.



Why do you like being a business member of PMQG? 
I think it’s nice to reach out to groups in the area and let them know what we’re about and welcome them to the store.  We have a few PMQG regular customers and we’re happy to support them and the group.

If you couldn’t work in the quilting world, what would your dream job be?
That’s a tough one, but I think I’d go back to my formal educational training and say my dream job would be program evaluation work in some sort of social service sector or organization.

Business Info: 
Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Boutique
2136 NE Alberta St.
Portland, OR 97211

Phone: 503-358-2813

Business Member Spotlight: Good Knight Quilts

Meet Jolene Knight, longarm quilter and owner of Good Knight Quilts! She's our featured business member for February, and is here to tell us about the wild world of professional quilting. 


What makes your business special or different than others in your industry?  
I pride myself on quality craftsmanship while still having a fast turnaround.

How long have you been doing this?
I’ve been a quilter since 2001, a free-motion quilter since 2006, and a longarm quilter since 2011. I started Good Knight Quilts in July of 2012.



What’s the most important thing you’ve had to learn to do your job well?
Communication with your customer to understand what they really want.

What do you see as a significant aesthetic trend right now? 
Even quilted texture and basic shapes.



Any new products or services you’d like to mention? 
I have added some cream and white 118” backing fabrics.

Why do you like being a business member of PMQG? 
Connecting with people, having friends that love quilting as much as I do. 



If you couldn’t work in the quilting world, what would your dream job be?
It would be exactly what I’m doing but in a little shop with basic fabrics and a community room for sew-ins.

Business Contact Information
6811 SE Mitchell Ct.
Portland, OR 97206
Phone: (503) 310-8832

all photos courtesy of Jolene Knight




Business Member Spotlight: Bill Volckening Quilts


This month we're featuring Bill Volckening! Here is what Bill had to say about his company:
The name of my business is Bill Volckening Quilts, and it started up when I began receiving requests for appraisals from people in the quilt community. I took the appraisal skills classes in Paducah to learn what quilt appraisers do, and decided to be an independent appraiser. Although I didn’t promote the business and wasn’t expecting a lot of activity, I appraised more than 500 quilts in the first two years.
What are your hours and location? Other info? (Phone number, website)
My hours are by appointment. E-mail: williamvolckening@comcast.net or call 503-327-3202, web site: www.billvolckening.com
                                    

What’s the best thing about owning your particular business?
Serving the quilt community. That’s how the business started. And of course, meeting so many great people and seeing lots of wonderful quilts.
How long have you been in business?
Almost two years.
What’s been your favorite order/customer/memorable moment as a business owner?
My favorite moment was when I visited the new home of a client, who told me the appraisals served as proof of assets in the process of being approved for a loan on the house. It was very gratifying to assist a first-time homeowner.
                             
my logo
What other jobs/businesses have you worked/owned?
I’ve done a lot of things, but never owned a business before. For ten years I was editor of a magazine for a sports organization with 50,000 member/subscribers, and midway through that time, I led the creation of a new magazine.
What made you want to go into this field of work?
When I first started sharing my collection in lectures, I didn’t realize it was anything out of the ordinary at first. The quilt community recognized it and grabbed hold of me. The knowledge I gained over years of collecting had value. That’s when people started asking for appraisals.
Do you still have time to do your own quilting and sewing while owning your business?
I’ve never done much sewing. Truth is I can’t see small things close up, and threading a needle is really difficult. If I look at this question as “do you still do the things you enjoy?” it’s an absolute yes! All the activities that led me to start a business are things I continue to do every day.
Does your store have classes, get-togethers, or special events you’d like to mention?
Although I haven’t done any special events with the business, I have curated four exhibitions in the last three years, two from my collection. The next show will take place at Latimer Quilt & Textile Center in March and April 2014. In 2015, I will exhibit 50 quilts in France following the release of my book with Quiltmania.
                          

pieced quilt from the New York Beauty collection, c. 1868, Kentucky
What would you like to see PMQG do to strengthen the quilting community in the Portland Metro Area?
I already love what PMQG is doing, and honestly don’t see much room for improvement. Just keep delving into all things quilt-related, keep interacting with other quiltmakers, and have fun!  
Thanks to Bill for sharing with our Community. We love our Business Members!

Business Member Spotlight--All Quilted

Starburst at MQX with Faculty Ribbon, October 2013


All Quilted, LLC
Confession of a Professional Long Arm Quilter
I’ve been a quilter for going on 15 years, off and on when time allowed amidst the hustle-bustle of raising and homeschooling 5 kids, and one would think I would have utilized the services of a long arm quilter myself.  Not so.  I have never hired a long arm quilter.  So, why in the world did I become one?
I wanted my quilts to be all mine, from beginning to end.  I wanted to select the pattern, the fabrics, the quilt design, and I wanted to do it all:  the piecing and the quilting!  So I quilted on my domestic machine.  I even bought a machine with the deepest throat space I could find to make the job easier.  I have quilted a king sized quilt on my domestic machine!  That quilt is on my bed right now.
The problems were these:  it is very difficult to finagle a big quilt through a stationary sewing machine.  My back, neck, and head would ache by the time I was finished.  Worse, I could never stitch the designs I had in my head on my quilts – I just couldn’t make it happen.
Then, my mom bought a long arm quilting machine.  Every time I visited her in Florida, I took a quilt top to quilt on her machine.  I learned right away, long arm quilting is not as easy as it looks.  Again, I found that my quilting stitched out nothing like the beautiful designs I had in my head.  But the seed was planted; I wanted a long arm of my own and I wanted to finally make those designs in my mind come to life.
Fast forward to February 2013 – my brand new Innova long arm came home, along with a robotics system that allows those gorgeous designs that I envision to stitch out in glorious reality every time.  The 4th quilt I quilted on my machine is “Starburst” and it won the 3rd place machine quilting ribbon at a local show in April 2013.  It also won a “faculty” ribbon at the Machine Quilters Expo that just happened in Portland last week.
What do you get from All Quilted, a long arm quilter who never hired a long arm quilter?  You are in charge.  You get to pick the quilting design.  And if I don’t have what you are looking for, I will find it or digitize it.  My designs are organized by type of design (texture, floral, spirals…) in my design catalogues (www.allquilted.com) and even better, over 90% of the designs are stitched out on large samples.  Paper just doesn’t do the designs justice.  Their beauty is most evident when they are stitched on fabric.  Many of my customers never look at the catalogues.  They choose their designs from my quilted samples.
Starburst Detail and Ribbon, MQX October 2013
At All Quilted, you are in charge of the price.  The designs are priced by density (stitches per square inch) and start at $0.015 per square inch.  My design catalogues are sorted by density, hence price (www.allquilted.com), or the design catalogues sorted by design type clearly indicate the density (hence, price) of each individual design.  Each quilted sample is labeled by density as well.
All Quilted currently has “NO Minimums!”  This will not last forever.  But for now, say you have a 36 by 36 wall hanging and want a more intricate quilting design than you wish to stitch on your domestic machine:  the most you would pay for quilting this quilt, even my most intricate design, is $36.  Take advantage of the chance to try All Quilted with one of your smaller projects while “No Minimums” is in effect.
All Quilted has fast turnaround time.  I can usually promise 2 week turnaround.  As we approach the Christmas season, this may extend.  However, when you talk to me about your quilting project I will give a firm promise date for completion and you can count on that date; in fact, you can take it to the bank.  If I miss my promise date, your quilting is free.
At All Quilted, you are in charge of the quilting design, the price, and the completion date.  I would be honored to help you complete your quilting project.
Debbie Scroggy, Owner and Quilter
All Quilted, LLC
www.allquilted.com  (web site)
503 704 4739
What’s the best thing about owning your particular business?
I love how quilting adds texture and makes the quilting project sign.  I love, love, love it!
How long have you been in business?
Formally, since February 2013.
What’s been your favorite order/customer/memorable moment as a business owner?
After delivering Karen’s custom wall hanging, for which I created “Lattice” (see fill design catalogue on my website and the border on my Halloween Whole Cloth), I said, “I’m so glad you like it.”  Karen came to give me a hug and said, “I don’t like it, I love it!  Does your mom know what kind of work you are doing?  Is she proud of you?”  Regarding my mom, yes and yes.
Halloween Whole Cloth Border
Halloween Whole Cloth Detail
What other jobs/businesses have you worked/owned?
I’m a retired CPA, retired (by my kids) homeschooling mom, current graduate student in Economics (boy has my passion for that waned, but I’m going to finish it if it kills me), and currently, finally, a professional long arm quilter.
What made you want to go into this field of work?
I wanted to master the art of making the designs in my head come to life with stitches on fabric.
Whimsical Log Cabin Back
Do you still have time to do your own quilting and sewing while owning your business?
Some.  Now all of my personal projects are selected to showcase some aspect of the final quilting process/design.
Bubblicious Sample
Does your business have classes, get-togethers, or special events you’d like to mention?
I’m running an “Early Bird Gets the Worm” promotional.  I gave away a $100 gift certificate in September, will give a $50 gift certificate (drawn from all quilts delivered to me in October) on October 31, and a final $10 gift certificate drawn from all quilts delivered to me in November on November 30, 2013. 

Whimsical Log Cabin Detail

What would you like to see PMQG do to strengthen the quilting community in the Portland Metro Area?
I have no suggestions – I love the creative energy of the PMQG members.  I am blown away by that energy every time I come to a guild meeting.  It is truly inspiring!
Whimsical Log Cabin, October 2013

Business Member Spotlight--Cool Cottons

One of our business members for October is Cool Cottons!

Hours and location of Cool Cottons:

Mon Tues Wed Fri Sat 10am-6pm
Thurs 12pm-8pm
Sun 12pm-5pm 

2417 SE Hawthorne Blvd  
Portland, OR 97214 
503-232-0417

www.coolcottons.biz

 
What’s the best thing about owning your particular business?

I get to play with fabric all day long with other people who like to play with fabric.


How long have you been in business?

Wow, in January it will be 7 years!


What’s been your favorite order/customer/memorable moment as a business owner?

Believe it or not we actually had a wedding at cool cottons.   One of our customers needed a quickie wedding (long story) and another of our customers officiated.  I don't know that it was my favorite moment but it was certainly memorable.  
Other than that just the day to day interactions with our customers.  We have the BEST CUSTOMERS EVER. 


What other jobs/businesses have you worked/owned?

I worked for USAirways for 18 years in Reservations (which is where I taught myself to quilt) .   


What made you want to go into this field of work?

Mostly, I wanted to work somewhere that people were happy to be. When people come in to a fabric shop they are generally in a good mood, and if they're not it doesn't usually take them long to get there.   I love fabric,  they love fabric,  everybody's happy.

 
Do you still have time to do your own quilting and sewing while owning your business?

I do less sewing and quilting than I used to but I still manage to get a few things done. In my head I am making things all day long...does that count?


Does your store have classes, get-togethers, or special events you’d like to mention?

We no longer do classes but we do have one huge sale at the end of the year and occasionally a few smaller ones just because I feel like it (or need room on our shelves because I over ordered).  Just check our FaceBook page,  or sign up for our newsletter on our website www.coolcottons.biz so you'll be the first to know. Don't worry I won't spam you, I am entirely too lazy to send out more than one or two newsletters a year :-)   

Pot Holders Mobile by Anne Whiting


What would you like to see PMQG do to strengthen the quilting community in the Portland

I think PMQG does an excellent job, especially with meet-ups, exchanges, speakers etc. I also truly appreciate you encouraging your members to shop local.  

As far as strengthening the quilting community in Portland, maybe do some type of quilt show in a venue that is not an organized quilt show, the lobby of an office building, a restaurant, farmers market, somewhere unexpected.  It doesn't have to be full size quilts, maybe pennants/potholders strung as a garland or mobile.   One of our customers had her own one day/one woman quilt show at a mattress shop in the Pearl for First Thursday.  pop-up quilt show?

Thank you, Marie!

Business Member Spotlight--Bear Creek Quilting Company

July's Business Member was Bear Creek Quilting! Shari of Bear Creek will be at our August Picnic Meeting to tell us about her company.

Bear Creek Quilting Company
541-905-3119
Owner:  Shari Shobe
Significant Other/Support Person/Personal Fabric Acquisition Team:  Brad Wilber

Here is a little bit about the company that Shari shared with us:


We are a complete online quilt store retailer based in Vancouver, Washington.
Bear Creek Quilting Company started innocently enough over twelve years ago by making and selling custom quilts and from there the passion for fabric grew into a full-time business.  The business went online in 2012; quickly out growing its beginning website and was redesigned to our current site in summer 2013.  The new website design allows easier check-out, shop by color, larger images with detailed descriptions on over 1500 products and personalized reminder notifications when Up-Coming products arrive.

The best part of this business is customers and beautiful fabric.  We love selecting the best upcoming collections, carefully processing our customer’s orders and day-dreaming about beautiful projects they will be making.  
 
Our business philosophy is to offer consistent low fabric prices, cut your fabric with a generous allowance and track your shipment until delivery at your doorstep.  We want your order to be perfect from start to finish so your project will be perfect.
Please visit us online at www.BearCreekQuiltingCompany.comand follow us on Facebook.

 

June Business Member Spotlight--SewPo!

Our June Business Member of the month is SewPo! While normally PMQG members receive 10% off of our purchases at SewPo, today through Saturday, July 21st we can receive 20% off instead! Sweet!

This is what Kate had to say about SewPo:
SewPo is a family-owned business, run by Kate Matlock and her mom, Janett Elliott. We have been sewing together for years and about 3 years ago we finally got to open up our own little fabric shop!
 
Janett and Kate, 1980

What are your hours and location?
We are open seven days a week; 11am-4pm on Sundays and Mondays. 11am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday. We are located at 830 N. Failing Street, in the lovely Mississippi neighborhood. We can be reached by phone at 503.282.1372, or visit our website, SewPo.com
We also blog at: 
www.fabrikatebysewpo.blogspot.com.
What’s the best thing about owning your business?
As much as I love to sew, my main motivation for actually making anything is so I can buy new fabric. Having my own fabric shop lets me fulfill my need for acquiring fabric (without filling up my bedroom!) and I get to try out designs and colors I wouldn’t normally be drawn to.
How long have you been in business?
My mom and I opened SewPo in March 2010. We launched our Etsy shop in October 2013.
What’s been your favorite order/customer/memorable moment as a business owner?
Working in a fabric shop is simply delightful. The customers are almost always in good moods and I get to hear about all types of fantastical projects. I have been honored to be the first sewing teacher for dozens of little seamstresses and I have helped parents finish quilts for long-awaited babies.
My most memorable moment though, was selling a quilt to the propmaster of Grimm; the night my quilt was on television, about a dozen people sent me “OMG”-type messages!
What other jobs/businesses have you worked/owned?
I used to be a cloth diaper and baby-wearing expert over at a local baby boutique. Before that I managed a babyGap, Gap Kids and Gap Maternity combined store. And, of course, I have 3 sons ranging in age from 5 to 11 y/o, which is definitely work!
What made you want to go into this field of work?
I really just love, love, love fabric. All of the colors, the designs, the possibilities inherent in one little yard of material, it is magical! 
Lost in Paris Quilt
Do you still have time to do your own quilting and sewing while owning your business?
We take on a fair amount of special projects—wedding napkins, nursing covers for the NICU, binding quilts, etc. I usually tell myself if I get a certain amount of “work sewing” done, then I can do some “fun sewing” until my bobbin runs out! 
Does your store have classes, get-togethers, or special events you’d like to mention?
We occasionally host classes, although we tend to focus on the beginning sewist. Every Saturday we host an open sew from 12-2pm. People can come in and use our tools and sewing machine, or if they need help getting a project started (or finished) that is the perfect time to do so. We charge $10 per visit. 
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Thank you so much, Kate, for sharing with us about your store! PMQG members, if you haven't visited SewPo yet, there probably won't be a better time since we can receive 20% off our purchases at SewPo through July 21st! 


--Mary Ann, V.P.

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Business Member Spotlight--Gina at Bolt

Each month we'll be highlighting a different business member on the blog, and they will also speak at that month's meeting. This month we're happy to learn more about Bolt.

 

Gina had this to say about Bolt:


Bolt opened its door in the fall of 2005, with a goal of providing a comfortable, neighborhood place for all people interested in fabric to imagine, learn, share, experience, and explore.  It has always been my intention to not have rules around what someone does with the fabric they find at our store.  Building off past experiences of feeling overwhelmed, uninspired, left with no one to lend a hand, ear, eye, or an open mind, I saw the need for Bolt. 
It has been a tremendous (almost) 8 years of growth of the business, the staff and our customers. Over the years we’ve had the joy of seeing members of our community evolve in their abilities, talents, and interests.  We’ve watched and encouraged while customers have gone from exploring the world of fabric for the first time to creating amazing garments, quilts and even starting up businesses. We are so grateful for the excitement our customers bring with them when they walk through the door and we are excited to see what the next 8 years brings!
What are your hours and location? Other info?
Hours: Mon-Fri 10-6 (stay tuned for possible extended hours mid-week through the summer), Sat 10-5, Sun 11-4
2136 NE Alberta Street, Portland, Oregon 97211
Phone: 503-287-2658             

What’s the best thing about owning your particular business?
I really enjoy the challenges and diversity of tasks in running a business in general, but the creative aspect of this business has been the most enjoyable for me.  To see what people are making, to imagine what I’d make with the goods that arrive at the store—it is so fun. 

What’s been your favorite order/customer/memorable moment as a business owner?        
I don’t know that I have a favorite, but I think what I like the most is the ease of interactions between our crew and our customers.  We have a lot of regular customers and I think one of the things that makes me the happiest is when we’re having a staff meeting or get together and we’re filling each other in on what our customers are making.  That’s when I feel like the “neighborhood” part of “Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Boutique” is working.  It sounds corny, but it really is an important aspect to me. 
What other jobs/businesses have you worked/owned?  
I’ve worked a variety of jobs over the years—food service, movie rental, landscape maintenance, research assistant.  The majority of my background before starting the store has been in social service (homelessness and severe poverty specifically), community development and research in those areas.  I tried my hand at starting a couple of different sewing oriented businesses over the years, as side projects.  The most recent was making duvet covers, which led to me opening Bolt.
What made you want to go into this field of work?
I wanted/needed a break from social service related work and I also didn’t want to rely on sewing as the main part of my work.  I loved picking out fabric and thought I saw the need for something like Bolt.  I thought it would be a good challenge that would keep me interested for a while.
Do you still have time to do your own quilting and sewing while owning your business?
Yep, somewhat.  I actually really enjoy gardening and cooking, so I have to admit, when there’s free time, those things can fill it pretty quickly.  My husband and I recently created a permanent sewing space for me in our house, and that helps tremendously as far as being able to just sit for a few minutes and work on something.  I don’t have to spend the time setting up and taking down now.

Does your store have classes, get-togethers, or special events you’d like to mention?
Yes!  We have our big bi-annual sale this weekend!  Every year we hold a store-wide sale the end of October (our anniversary) and the middle of April.  It’s fun and exciting!  Also, we’ll be hosting a designer (stay tuned for the announcement on this) during Quilt Market in May for a meet and greet type of event.  And, this year we’re resurrecting our “Organization of the Month” club where we feature a different charitable organization each month and then hold a donation day, after which we donate 10% of the day’s total to the organization.  The donation days are typically the last Saturday of the month.  You can follow this on our blog.  We’ve also been working to get more customers to share their projects via Flickr through our Flickr Inspiration project.  We draw a winner each month and feature them on our blog.

What would you like to see PMQG do to strengthen the quilting community in the Portland Metro Area?
This is tricky one for me—it seems like PMQG is rockin’ the quilting community in Portland.
 Thanks for the opportunity to share!  I really appreciate it.