Goodbye, Ginger.

In keeping with our inspiration theme, I would like to tell you about Ginger's Needlearts and how a courageous woman empowered me to start my shop.

Ginger is a Master Needleartist. Embroidery, cross stitch, needlepoint, quilting. You name it, she's done it and done it well. She's taught numerous classes in the 26 years she owned her shop, and had many wonderful events. Ginger gave countless women a place to escape from their everyday life and empower themselves with the improvement of their skill set.

If you have never done anything needly before, like embroidery or cross stitch, I can testify that it is tedious, meticulous, and often grueling. It takes a tremendous amount of time to complete, but when it is done well, it simply can be magnificent. Who knew that making little tiny stitches in many colors could yield an underwater ocean adventure scene, or a jockey riding a horse with beagles nipping at their heels? You can truly paint a picture with thread and a needle.

You're probably wondering how a California girl can be so attached to a Texas embroidery store.

Ginger found out about my mom's quilting business from word of mouth. The demand for long-arm quilting was high, but the quilting service was few and far between. It wasn't like today, where it seems like everyone knows somebody who has a longarm machine. My mom was one of the first people in the nation, if not the first, to stick a longarm quilting machine into a retail space and offer it to the public. Ginger and her guests jumped at the chance to get affordable longarm service for their beautiful quilts. Before we knew it, we were receiving boxes full of quilts. First they were small parcels, then they became large boxes. In a few years, the small parcels turned into 30 pounds of quilt tops and backs, patiently waiting for their safe arrival back on Texas soil.

Although I didn't actually meet Ginger face-to-face until last year, her gentle voice was one the other end of the phone at least once weekly. Her sweet disposition was magnetic. I learned a lot about Texas history thru the quilts that Ginger sent us-how else would I have ever known the purity of a blue bonnet? Everyday I have a visitor in my store who mentions Gingers and my mom's quilting service. We are all connected. 

The closing of Ginger's Needlearts puts a tremendous hole in my heart. Part of it is because I am very resistant to change. The other part of it drudges up the feelings I had when Mom closed her shop in Turlock. I hate seeing the empty shop, the furniture moving in and out. I hate seeing the end of an era.

So I kept a few pieces of Ginger's Needlearts, in the form of her fabric shelves. I needed an upgrade anyway, as we are steadily growing. At first all I could do was cry when I saw them, but I am starting to dry my tears and feel happy for what I have- a piece of the mountain.

When I first started the shop, it was a huge emotional burden. I was overwhelmed (still am!) and unsure of what to do first. The list was long. Ginger provided me with a wealth of advice and priceless knowledge that allowed me to screw my head back on and get excited about why I opened the shop.

Ginger, if you are reading this, I love you with all my heart and I am blown away by your life's accomplishments.  Thank you for your friendship, mentorship, and overall, thank you for simply being who you are.

With all of this being said, I have some work to do stacking beautiful bolts on my new shelves.

Keep on stitching.