Thursday, April 21, 2005

Question of the week

This week's Stitching Blogger's Question:

Have you ever been asked to do model stitching? Did you do it? If so, what was your compensation? (money, stash, etc.) If not, why not? If you haven't done it, if you were asked would you? Why or why not?

I stitched models for a Pittsburgh shop called The Thread Connection, but that was many moons ago. They had an ad in their shop newsletter, so I applied. Took several types of stitching (unframed - they wanted to see the backs, too), and I was "hired".

Let me tell you, it was a sweet deal. I'd go into the store, and we'd go thru the newest charts. Typically, the owner would pick some unusual stuff. Things that she didn't think would sell if you just looked at the leaflet or book, but when stitched up, she knew they'd fly off the shelf. I would take 2 or 3 projects, she'd kit them up (fabric, floss, etc), and I'd go home. They liked about a 4 week turnaround or less, depending on the project.

Later, I'd return the finished stitching. They would complete the project by framing it , sewing it into a pillow, etc. Then I was given a generous gift certificate to the store. If I decided that I wanted to keep the project, my certificate was a bit less. If I gave it over to the store to own, my certificate was more. Regardless, I was to keep any leftover supplies (floss, the used chart, etc)

Let's see - this would have been in 1989. DS was about a year old, and taking lovely, long, afternoon naps. I was a SAHM. So I had a few hours each afternoon and long evenings to stitch. No way could I keep that kind of stitching schedule now!

Other things have changed, too. For one thing, the Thread Connection closed in 1991. It was a lovely shop - probably the best shop in the Pittsburgh area back then. And I loved going there, even before I worked for them, but especially after I started working for them. I would make any excuse to drive the 90 minutes to get there! They treated me like wonderfully.

Secondly, printing technology has really improved over the past 15 years (duh!). You get a much more accurate photo on a leaflet when you are browsing needlework patterns. I'm not saying shop models aren't valuable - I'm just saying that they aren't as necessary.

Third: we all browse the internet, and I think that makes our LNS shopping patterns different. Before most of us had home computers and internet access, I used to go to a shop with maybe one design in mind. Maybe I'd see a tiny thumbnail photo in Just Cross Stitch magazine, and I'd want to check it out. But otherwise I was open to browsing thru the store. After all, JCS only gave us a limited number of designers.

But now, I'm much more likely to have a fairly established (and sometimes long) list when I walk into a shop. I've already seen these designs stitched countless times on the internet, usually thru message boards, or in online photo albums, or on blogs. I've watched Stitchalongs progress. Usually it's been with some alterations - switching fabrics, threads, etc. I have a pretty good idea if its my cup of tea or not. So I have most of my money spent, even before I get there! I'm just not as likely to switch my purchase decisions.

And finally, over the past 10-15 years I've seen the cost of needlework supplies go up and up and up. And framing? Well, let's not go there. The cost increases for framing are enough to make you cringe. I just don't know that a small shop could afford to use model stitchers and be as generous as the Thread Connection was. Most shop models are stitched by the owners and their staff.

In other news, we are so busy it's hard to find time for anything besides work-work and house-work. We're having a real go-round with Pella Windows over a sunroom we built about 16 years ago. It's mostly glass - skylights connecting to casement windows. And leaking like crazy. And evidently ours isn't the only one. Turns out that Pella settled with most of its sunroom clients last year. They gave customers money to tear down the sunrooms, because it was a faulty product and they couldn't honor the warranty. But of course DH and I weren't aware of this until it was too late. It's a bit more complicated than that, but you really don't want the whole long, drawn out version. The bottom line is, the skylight system isn't fixable. We simply have to tear it down and start over. Altho Pella has offered to give us the new windows at cost. Isn't that just mighty big of them? there goes several thousand dollars, flying out of my pocket. Just wave....buh-bye.

Isn't that just the story of my life???

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