In 2014, there was a snowstorm predicted for the Northern Neck. Being a teacher, I knew that I would be home for days. Two months earlier, our daughter and son- in-law blessed us with our first grandchild. It was a precious baby boy! Since I would be stuck in the house, I decided to order an embroidery machine online and teach myself how to embroidery so I could make cute things for our new bundle of joy. It was great fun!
In the spring of that year, I embroidered a crab on a baseball cap for myself. I happened to be wearing my hat when I stopped by a gift shop. The owner wanted to know where I had purchased my hat. I told her that I had embroidered it and she wanted me to make some for her shop.
Well... I started to embroider the hats and it was taking over 60 minutes to do one hat. Naturally, the machine broke because it was not designed to be a workhorse. The only place that I could get it repaired was 90 miles away. So off I went to have it repaired. I was told that my machine would not hold up to that type of production. Since the machine was a low end model, I knew they were correct about the demands I was putting on it. While at the shop, I started looking at new machines. Remember, I knew nothing about sewing and less than a thimble full about embroidery. I just couldn't justify the price of a new machine. Knowing this, one of the ladies that worked there was selling her sewing/embroidery machine in order to upgrade. I purchased it. But it was still taking way too long to do a hat. I would have to sit with the machine to change the thread colors seven times for each hat.
By now, I had started taking classes and selling more hats. I bought my first 10 needle machine. When I got home, I asked my husband, HT, to help me get 'something' out of the car. He had no idea that I had bought this machine. When he saw it, he just shook his head.
We got the machine set up. I had now expanded to placemats, towels, baby items and other things. But I was still not satisfied how the hats were going on the hat hoop. HT tried it and became hooked on doing hats.
We were both still working full time jobs. At night we would be bumping heads to use the same machine. So we bought our second machine. HT encouraged me to do a local show. I was very hesitant. It was not only a success but fun too.
After 32 years in education, I retired. HT and I have been doing between 35-40 shows a year from Hampton to Occoquan, VA. The business we started in 2015 had grown. We added a third 10 needle last year. One question we heard over and over again was "Do you have a website?" We love the interaction and meeting people at shows. Since COVID, we are not doing shows. People have been emailing and calling to place orders.
So... with the help of our daughter, we are launching this website with a few items to get our feet wet. We will continue to add products as our comfort level increases.
Remember, to continue to contact us if you want something personalized or don't see what you want on the website. If we don't have it, we will try to find it for you.
Meanwhile, I continue to take classes and have joined several quilt guilds. After making a few quilts and having to have someone else quilt them, HT suggested that we buy a longarm. I didn't take him seriously. He continued to talk about buying a longarm. I am happy to say that we have added a Gammill Statler with a 14 foot table to our family. I have become obsessed with beautiful fabric. So look for auntfanniesquilting.com coming in the future. There you will be able to find gorgeous fabric and notions.
Thanks for shopping Life In The Northern Neck and supporting a small family owned business. I couldn't do this without the support of my family and HT. He is definitely one in a million. I love him to pieces.