One of my most Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at the Market is whether I teach sewing lessons. As much as I would LOVE to teach lessons, between my full-time regular job and making inventory for and running my part-time small business (Swan City Stitchery), I just don’t have time for teaching lessons. I am, however, always excited to help someone interested in learning stitchery find a place where they can take lessons. Here are some local resources I recommend:
— Fabric Warehouse in Lakeland: With a website this nifty, just imagine how wonderful their store and classes must be! Fabric Warehouse is located on the corner of Griffin Rd. and N. Florida Ave. They carry a huge variety of beautiful cotton prints. I buy my Amy Butler (modern graphic prints) and Riley Blake (classic to quirky prints) there. This is a great place to shop for 100% cotton quilting fabric, since that’s largely what they carry, and you can build a pretty nice stash of fat halves, fat quarters, and fat eights without breaking the bank if the yardage price is out of your budget. I always find lovely yardage prints on their $3 and $4 per yard shelves, though! On their website, click “Calendar” at the top and make sure you’re viewing the current month for a schedule of the classes they’re offering. They are also Husqvarna-Viking dealers if you’re shopping for a super nice machine.
— Inspire! Quilting & Sewing in Plant City: Inspire! hasn’t been open too very long, but they have created a huge buzz among our local stitchery community. I had the pleasure of visiting with one of their employees at Fancy Flea and picked up a charm pack of Moda fabric (my absolute favorite) at a very decent price. Inspire has a TON of classes going on, with their June line-up already posted on their website — just click the “Class Calendar” link from the site’s top menu bar. They offer a 15% discount on all supplies purchased at their store for their classes, and a $5 store coupon if you sign up for a class more than 7 days in advance of the deadline. I really like that Inspire! gets very specific about the level of skill you’ll need for each class. For example, there are “beginner” classes and also “confident beginner” classes. So you know that if you have never touched a machine in your life, the “beginner” class is best for you. After you’ve taken a few classes and feel confident in your abilities, you can move up a step without the intimidation of calling yourself “intermediate” just yet. I also like that they go beyond quilting classes and offer classes on making handbags and even apparel. They are Brother dealers — also nice machines if you’re in the market for one.
— Heartfelt Quilting & Sewing in Lakeland and Winter Haven: Heartfelt opened a Lakeland location not too long ago, but their Winter Haven store has been my go-to place for Moda fabric for the past couple of years. For just a few bucks, you can enjoy a “Sit & Sew” get-together with other stitchery-minded sewists two times a week. There is no instructor, but with other stitcherists of varying skill level, someone in the group is sure to be of assistance if you have a question. And I like that you can bring any project you’d like to work on. There are also totally free demos where you can pick up free patterns if you purchase supplies and you even get to watch someone make the project using the pattern from beginning to end. If you’ve always wanted to learn to quilt, Heartfelt has an awesome deal — free Beginning Quilting classes if you purchase your pattern and fabric from Heartfelt. They are also offering day and evening Kid Camp classes this summer. On their website, mouse over the quilt blocks and choose the store you’re interested in — Lakeland or Winter Haven (A Kissimmee store is planned for 2014!) Then their “classes and events” link is in the top menu bar, and classes are color coded on their calendar so that you know which classes are in Lakeland and which are in Winter Haven. They are Janome dealers. (My personal machine is a Janome that is much loved!)
Hopefully one of these options will meet your need. Sewing is one of those things that’s best NOT learned on YouTube (rare to find these days!) and even more fun when you enjoy it with friends! If you take a class, bring your finished project by the Market and show it off to me! I am always so excited to see others who are enthralled with sewing and creating!
In Stitchery Solidarity,