Expat Chronicles: the Quilty Business
In the wake of making the announcement of our upcoming international move, I have been absolutely inundated with kindness from you all! I can’t say I’m shocked, because I’ve learned to trust that you are incredible people, but I do want to express my gratitude.
Thank you to those who have spent time overseas and took the time to encourage and affirm our decision. Thank you to those who already live in Holland or nearby and wrote to make me feel welcome. Thanks to those who confessed they are also dreaming, wishing, plotting to move. And thanks as well to those content United States citizens who aren’t taking our move personally. I am forever grateful for this safe space.
Are you wondering how our move to The Netherlands will effect Stitched in Color? Will I keep up the blog? Will everything change? Today I want to share my plan for the quilty business side of things.
Quilting Services in America
Collaborating with another maker as their quilter is such a relationship of trust. I don’t take that lightly. Unfortunately, sending quilts back and forth across the ocean is slow, costly and risky. It just won’t be practical to quilt for my United States readers after our move. I’m so sorry to see these collaborations end.
Fortunately, I was able to announce our move months before it happens. This gives all my current clients and anyone who was planning to send me a quilt an opportunity to collaborate on another project or two before things change. Right now I am still offering quilting services in America. In fact, I’ve had a little slowdown in orders, probably due to the announcement of my move, so right now there’s no wait! Order here.
We have tickets to leave South Carolina on May 27th. I plan to quilt through the end of April, so I’ll have all May to focus on packing, etc. Please know that I would never, ever, ever, ever take an order that I would not have time to fulfill. Your quilt is safe with me! I have a pretty spotless record for organization, planning and follow through.
The longarm will be packed mid-May and travel with the rest of our belongings by shipping container to The Netherlands. When it arrives there late June or July, we may not yet have a place to live. With the housing shortage in Holland, it’s quite competitive to secure a place to live, whether you are renting or buying. Our things will be stored until we are moving into our permanent housing. I’m hoping that happens in July or August.
Meanwhile, I will be keeping my back-up sewing machine, the Janome HD3000, with me so that I am able to keep creating. It’ll be one of my airplane carry-ons, along with some projects I need to plan in advance for June/July.
Quilting Services in the European Union
By the time we have a new home and can set up the longarm, I will almost certainly have finished the application process for my work permit in Holland. So, I expect to start quilting for EU residents around late July/early August. When I am able to start accepting orders, I will contact all those who have registered interest. If you live in the EU and are looking for a quilter, please use this form to let me know! I’ll be eager to get started right away.
Ok, can you tell I’m going to keep blogging? Of course I am! Haha. Of course!!! I don’t even plan to have a break in the flow of my content. I might have a few posts at critical times that I write in advance, but mostly I think that there will be enough interesting things going on during the transition, in addition to my portable projects (English paper piecing, anyone?), that keeping the blog going will be a natural fit.
My commitment to blogging is also a commitment to my sponsors. Their regular financial support is critical. When you’re trying to support a family in a foreign country with a creative business, every bit counts!
the Book, a Tour + Other Stuff
“Don’t you have a book coming out?” Well, yes, I do! The Quilter’s Field Guide to Color was originally going to release last November. Just before then Lucky Spool Media, my publisher, switched distributors. With the change it was best for my book to release under the new distributor mid 2019. I know that’s a long wait! But I think it’s going to be so worth it.
My book is definitely coming out early August of this year. You can preorder it on Amazon, if you like. I’ll already be in The Netherlands by that time and eager to get around and meet people. I’d like to do a book tour/trunk show in The Netherlands and surrounding areas that August and into the fall. If you know of a quilt shop, guild or other group that might like to host me, please be in touch.
One last thing… After my move I won't be offering my handmade goods to United States readers. Again, it’s a practical thing. Shipping quilts overseas is expensive! Instead, my handmade will be available within the EU. Just wanted to give you a heads up, in case you’ve had your eye on something!
Well friends, I think that’s everything! Let me know if I’ve left anything out. Eeek, it’s fun to tell you all my plans. Makes it feel so real!!!