Saturday, August 19, 2017

And then came along Girl Scouts

My longtime followers may remember that a few years ago this blog was much more active and I posted regularly about my quilty goings-on.  I was on my way to getting my patterns developed and published, ready for retail sale, along with getting my longarm business up and running.

But then this happened! Girl Scouts!
I became what us leaders affectionately call ourselves....a Green Blood.  Little did I know when I started my troop 3 years ago that it would stuck up so much of my sewing and designing time.  

Of course part of being a Girl Scout is participating in the annual cookie sale.  My troop was clamoring to do this from the very first troop meeting and that first year they exceeded any possible expectations I had. As kindergartners we were the top selling troop in our community (service unit) of 70 troops and we've maintained that title for years 2 and 3. This was our first troop cookie order.
Girl Scouts has afforded me some unusual sewing opportunities.  Ror our cookie booths we couldn't use just any old tablecloth!  I had to create a custom one of our own.  This is my creation that is not only a tablecloth that works for both a 6 foot and an 8 foot table but it also morphs into a parade banner with a few simple changes.
Along with running my own troop, just a few months later our local council asked me to take over the volunteer job of Troop Organizer for our service unit.  What this means is that I kept the list of girls wanting to join a troop, coordinated new troops being formed and kept track of all 70 troop rosters.  Our service unit has almost 700 girls and over 300 adults and we typically add 125 new girls and 10 new troops each year.  In addition for the past 2 years I ended up taking over the Leader Recruiter duties which mean that I guided new leaders through the formal steps and mentored them as they got their troops up and running.

What all of this has meant, in regards to my quilting life and my sewing time, is that there hasn't been nearly as much of it.  I haven't been happy about that at all and even unhappier when I had to turn away quilting customers last fall because I couldn't be sure I would be able to complete their quilting in time for Christmas.

I knew I had to do something to get my quilting back on track and moving forward.

One thing that happened is that I've purchased a bigger and better longarm machine and frame.  A full introduction post will come out soon but here is a sneak peak. I've known for a little while that I needed to upgrade and the right machine finally came along so now she's all mine. 
My Penelope is still looking for her new owner but to be fair I haven't had a lot of time to get the word out that she's available.
 If you know of someone that is looking for their first longarm and doesn't want to spend $10K to $20K to start out, let me know and I'll share with them all that is included and lots of pictures.  She truly is a workhorse of a machine and hopefully she'll find her new home soon.

But having a new machine isn't going to get me moving in the right direction, though it certainly helps.  I had to make a BIG change in my life and that change had to come from Girl Scouts.  With some thinking and rearranging I've worked out a much better situation for me, for both my personal life, my Girl Scout life and my quilting business.

The person who is our service unit cookie manager's daughter graduated this year so she is done.  What that meant is that the position was open and I quickly decided that it was the right switch for me.  I'm already really busy during cookie season with Sunshine's personal sales, my troop's sales and being the local cookie cupboard (where troops come for more inventory).
Just for perspective....this was first cupboard delivery of 620 cases last March (7,440 boxes).  All told just under 15,000 boxes came and went out of my garage.
Adding the responsibilities for that position wouldn't be difficult.  I already spend a lot of time managing all there is to do during cookie season so it's a perfect fit. Plus the season only runs January through April so it is much less of a time commitment during the year.

My Troop Organizer and Leader Recruiter duties have been handed off to competent others and I'm starting to enjoy the late summer again (while still getting things ready for back to school.

The best part is now I have my sewing time back!!!!!!!!!!!

My quilting customers are thrilled and to say that I'm excited about this is a huge understatement.  I'm already working on some new projects of my own and I'm getting back to posting here regularly.  I hope that you are still following because there will be great finishes to share and lots of sneak peaks to come.


6 of you added your own colorful comments:

Paige said...

Good for you getting quilting time back! I hope Penelope finds a good home! I bet I could eat all of those thin mints :)

Val's Quilting Studio said...

I'm excited for you!! I'll be looking forward to your future posts!

Needled Mom said...

That's great news for you, Michelle. I know you will enjoy getting your sewing time back again.

Jeanna said...

Even though you have handed off some of the Girl Scout jobs, you are still very involved. It is wonderful that you were able to rearrange things to get more balance in your life. I look forward to your future posts.

Sarah Craig said...

I'm still here! Glad you're able to get back to quilting, and I can't wait to see what you share with us!

Anonymous said...

I love your artwork and follow you pots this very minute!