Raw Edges: The Diary of a Clumsy Quilter by Andrea Paden
Feb. 25, 2010
Welcome to my first blog entry. I guess the proper thing to do here would be to start out by introducing myself. So…
Hello. I’m Andrea and I have been working behind-the-scenes at Cozy Quilt Shop since last Fall. Daniela brought me in to help with Cozy’s ever-growing web sales from customers like you here locally, across the U.S., and even (as I was impressed to learn) all around the world!
But before we go much further, I have to give a “shout out” to my Aunt Judy. Hallah! Aunt Judy was the person who told me that Daniela was looking for someone to add to her staff when she read about it in the weekly newsletter, and what a blessing for me, because I have honestly never enjoyed a job so much. This doesn’t even feel like work! So thank you, Aunt Judy, for being a faithful Cozy customer, and for being a fabulous Aunt!
I have only been with Cozy a short time, but quickly learned that I love it here! Probably for many of the same reasons that you do, and many of the same reasons that make Cozy Quilt Shop such a success in the quilting world.
First, and most importantly, I really love the people who work here. These ladies are so much fun. So sassy and energetic! Right, you’ve seen them? Nothing at all like the fuddy-duddy ol’ gals I pictured quilting in their long, flannel nightgowns and bonnets surrounded by multiple cats. (Just kiddin’, Cozy Queens. I knew you didn’t all have cats.) If that image wasn’t erased the first day I walked in the door, it was blown out of the water at last year’s Christmas party! Who on Earth could spend 3+ hours at a CoCo’s restaurant and have so much fun? [My husband accused me of ending up at Chippendale’s because I was gone so long!] Seriously, these ladies really are fabulous!
I have worked other places where people said “it feels like family”, but now I see they really didn’t know what they were talking about. Cozy Sisters make everyday enjoyable. They keep chocolate stocked at all times (thank goodness!!). They are always willing to help me out with one of my thousands of newbie-quilter questions (Diane, Virginia, Shareen, Kara, Jan…). They pass out Valentine candy and cards to each other, they make World Famous meatball appetizers (Maureen), they hoot and they holler, they sing Disco songs (Kathy) and they use words like “wonky” (Marguerite & Janice). I am always excited to see who I will be working with each day and happy to be greeted with a familiar “Hey, there Ladybug!” And they truly all have a passion for quilting. I can see it when they help someone find just the right fabric for a special project, when they teach classes, and when they get excited for me even when all I made was a sad, miss-aligned and puckered pillowcase!
Second reason I love being at Cozy: all these fabrics! The patterns, the colors. I can’t stand it. Lime green, lavender, coral, chocolate brown, oyster, pink, butter yellow, navy, silver, ruby, charcoal, tan, mocha, teal, strawberry, plum, sage, cornflower. Do ya get what I mean? Everyday it seems there is something new, and by the multitude of UPS and FedEx delivery people coming through our doors, it’s true. You can find a fabric for every mood. Marbles, dots, florals, stripes, Batiks, Oriental-inspired prints, cupcake and pizza prints, motorcycles, beach themes, leaves, outer space and owls. It’s like candy for my eyes (and I have a BIG sweet tooth!). Many times I have heard a customer or one of my Cozy Sisters say, “If you find something you love, you just have to get it”. And that is how I decided to make a Pocket Parade Purse – I just had to have that Spell Bound fabric by Art Gallery! [See upcoming blog about my first projects]
And the last reason I will talk about today that I am loving Cozy Quilt Shop is being in an environment that inspires, that promotes creativity and a sense of community, all based on the art of quilting. Now, I have a small art background. I studied some in college and have done a little of this and that since, but I have never known anything about quilting, let alone sewing, until I started work here. Can you believe Daniela hired me?! Ha! I thought quilting was a hobby. I didn’t know it was an art form. But when I saw Susan Prioleau‘s Jacobean appliqué quilt (completely hand stitched!), I was amazed. When I look at Janice’s Indian Orange Peel quilt, I am in awe. The work, the care, the skill is almost baffling to me. And there is so much history in quilting that I didn’t realize. It’s a part of our country, our culture, our families. And that is something I am looking very much forward to being a part of.
So, look out Quilting World! I have the sewing “bug” and I’m going full-throttle. Being surrounded by the ladies here, who wouldn’t?
Check back soon. While Daniela and Georgette write about quilting from the experienced quilter’s perspective, I have none of that. I’ll be writing about quilting from a novice quilter’s perspective (that should provide a laugh or two, at least!). I hope you will find it enjoyable. Plus, I am about to finish my very first quilt thanks to Sandy Thompson’s Into to Quilting class. And my own sewing machine arrived at the shop today! I can’t wait to take it for a test drive! As Kathy says, “Go, Baby, Go!”