SewPro Stars Blog Hop

SewPro Musings

Welcome to the third day of the SewPro Stars Blog Hop. Today I’m up and very excited to share about SewPro and show you my project. Go ahead and grab a cup of coffee (or tea if you prefer) and I hope you enjoy.


Back in September of this year I was lucky enough to attend the first ever SewPro Convention in Chicago, IL. A year earlier I had stumbled on the site during a random Google search and new after looking at the site that this is what I was looking for. It is geared towards people that want to learn more about operating a creative business within today’s quilting & sewing industry.  

Owning my own business in the quilting industry has been a desire of mine for a long time, but I would take a couple baby steps forward and then a step back. I’m a perfectionist and have unreachable high standards for myself. When I don’t reach my goals, I tend to shrink back, slow down, and over analyze the situation. At some time during 2015 the light bulb came on that what I needed most was to look internally.

Rain on the second day of the Convention.

Rain on the second day of the Convention.


Around the end of 2015, shortly after finding the SewPro event, I made a commitment to myself to keep pushing forward and go easier on myself. To not let the stumbles, missed deadline (that I set for myself), or the feeling that I’m an impostor and someone will find out, or my tendency to want to do all the things stop me from moving forward. For me the benefits of SewPro started long before actually attending the event.

My moment though came when I ran across a blog post Pat Sloan had written about The Business of Quilting. At the very end of her post she talks about working on your dream while you have a job that pays the bills. Up until that moment I hadn’t realized how fixated I had been on the idea of being able to quit my day job. The thought that I might not like running Desert Bloom Quilting full time never crossed my mind, so I put my head down and worked really hard at night and on weekends to move closer to my goals, so I could see if the drive to build my dream was still there if it meant giving up my free time, and doing so with little or no pay.

Fangirl moment with Tula Pink!

Fangirl moment with Tula Pink!


The year between buying my ticket and attending the event went fast. I was working full time, raising a toddler, and spending every other free moment on building my dream. The event itself was a wonderful experience. There was a lot to learn, and being surrounded by other creative, accepting people was a breath of fresh air. The tone of the event was always positive. It was all about cooperation, not competition. There were great classes about Teaching on the Road (Pat Sloan), Fabric Design (Tula Pink & Alison Glass), Pattern Design (Sara Lawson), and much more. For me though, the light bulb moments of the whole experience had nothing to do with the technical aspects of running a business but psychological.  Three things that really stuck out in my mind were:

  • Don’t compare yourself to others in the industry. It will kill your creativity and momentum.
  •  Put one foot in front of the other, work hard, don’t worry about what everyone else is doing and it will grow. 
  • Let it grow organically. Don’t try and force things to move faster or happen sooner than they should (I’m terrible at this one).

Of course it wasn't all work and no play. I got an evening out in downtown Chicago with new friends. 

Amazing new friends.

Amazing new friends.


The Project

For my project I wanted to use the One Room Schoolhouse fabric by Brenda Ratliff of Just a Bit Frayed. I came up with multiple designs and finally got something together, and won’t be sharing it today since I decided to overcome my fear and submit the design to a magazine. Instead I had another fun idea.

One Room Schoolhouse fabric by Brenda Ratliff.

One Room Schoolhouse fabric by Brenda Ratliff.


For the hop I put together this star block and I will be borrowing an idea The Quilter’s Market (where I used to work) uses for their block of the month and tweaking it a bit for the internet. Basically, I will be giving out the pattern with cutting instructions, a block to color, and no instructions on what color goes where. I’ll be asking people to make the block any way they want, and the only rule will be they must use all the pieces outlined in cutting instructions in their block. Color placement is entirely up to the participant.


It will be a good opportunity to try out new techniques, play with color & value, and get a pretty block out of it. Because this idea came to me last night I will be working hard over the weekend to hash out some details.

Thank you for taking the time to hop over and read, and I highly recommend you take the time to read the other blog hop posts! Also, what is a blog hop without a giveaway. There will be 3 bundles of fabrics and patterns to give away, so scroll down and enter (or enter from any participant's post).

SewPro Stars Blog Hop Schedule

Monday Nov 14

Lisa Peterson -
Sherri Noel -
Andi Stanfield -
Brooke Gilbert -

Tuesday Nov 15

Vanessa Behymer -
Pam Cobb & Lynn Rinehart -
Sherry Shish -
Joanne Kerton -
Lisa Nielsen -

Wednesday Nov 16

Carmen Ross -
Anne Beier -
Jessica Caldwell (you are here) -
Pamela Morgan -

Thursday Nov 17

Maryanna Powell -
Cathy Smith -
Lissa LaGreca -
Paula Mamuscia -

Friday Nov 18

Becca Fenstermaker -
Holly Stockley -
Teri Seal -
Trinia Braughton -
Deanna Wall -