Workshops and a death (of sorts) in the family

Hello and happy Summer (for those of you in the Northern hemisphere)! I’ve got a number of new workshops to announce, but I want to first talk about something that’s weighing heavily on my mind right now. If you just want to skip to the workshop announcement, click here to go there now.

One of my good friends, Dennis from Wall of Yarn, at Stitches.

As you’ve probably read/heard already, Stitches/XRX has dissolved as a company, presumably due to the financial pressures of the pandemic/post-pandemic economy. However, they did it apparently out of the blue and with no prior communication with their partners such as vendors, teachers, etc. Many vendors have lost deposits they made for booths in future shows, and many teachers were not paid for virtual workshops they just ran the prior weekend. It’s unclear whether any of the small businesses directly involved in this closure will be made whole. Others have written more about this, and a recent article was just written that seems to sum it up pretty well.

Keep this in mind as you choose whom to support. A lot of teachers just lost a lot of real and potential income — Stitches has been a huge boon for teachers in the fiber world for over 30 years, with coast-to-coast live shows and recently, almost monthly virtual shows. A lot of vendors lost a reliable, well-regarded, well-attended series of events where they could ply their wares further afield. There is only one company (Vogue) left in the US that does anything similar, which is a lot of pressure I’m sure.

So how does this affect me? Well, I was perhaps lucky, as I had been on a break from teaching for other people this year (aside from the couple of shows early this year that I’d already scheduled back in 2022) while I worked on fleshing out my new workshop offerings. Ironically, I was just having my virtual assistant apply to Vogue workshops for me, and expected Stitches to be next up when I got word they had folded. So while I am not out any real money like some of my colleagues in the national teaching circuit, I am definitely left stranded as far as big live shows go. I’ve met so many amazing people and taught so many amazing students at these shows, students who often come to find me later to take more workshops. It’s not only a loss of future income, it’s also a loss of promotional capability.

As you know, I have been building a sort of bulwark against this kind of occurrence, in the form of my BuildingBlox virtual and recorded workshops. It’s my hope that the loss of this big company’s presence will encourage students to go searching for those teachers they looked forward to learning from again. I hope I’m one of them. If I am, never fear: I have lots of workshops available now as recordings, and more coming up as live virtual workshops too. And I’m sure I will be at live events again soon, but I don’t know exactly when yet. Stay tuned to my calendar, or better yet sign up on my email lists.

And now, workshops!

Without further ado, here are the BuildingBlox virtual workshops I’m teaching for the rest of 2023; all times are in Eastern Time! Note that a couple of them are coming up this weekend, so sign up soon if you’re interested in either (recordings are also available); you have more time to sign up for the others but why not get your foot in the door? Here’s what’s coming up:

These are not currently on my calendar but will be soon; for now, the direct links above are the easiest way to get to the workshop pages.

If you’re interested in taking a number of these workshops, I recommend joining my Patreon at any level above the lowest, as everyone there gets hefty discounts on my virtual workshops and/or recordings each month. And when I can start designing again, you’ll get free copies of my patterns as well.

Thanks for sticking with me and hope to see you in a workshop soon!

Alasdair Post-Quinn, “Softwear Engineer”, Fallingblox Designs

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