Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Judy and Linda Show

I just returned from a whirlwind weekend in Chicago...what a trip!  In addition to traveling to markets on business, sometimes I get invitations to visit needlework shops and be the guest teacher at a weekend event. This weekend I was pleased to visit some of my long-time, faithful customers...Pam and Kim from Tomorrow's Heirlooms in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. The other teacher at the event was Judy Whitman, from JBW Designs...also known as my BFF in the needlework biz!

Here we are at the end of event...still smiling...from left to right...Kim, Pam, Judy and Linda (me!).

Q.  What do cross stitchers do when they get together?
A.  Laugh, talk, eat, stitch, stitch, stitch!

On Friday night, about 50 of us gathered at the lovely Doubletree for a casual Meet and Greet event. Judy and I were there to chat with the ladies, but I think they were more interested in our products than us!  Pam and Kim created a beautiful "road show" with tons of Lizzie*Kate and JBW Designs models and products, as well as other select goodies from their shop. The gals could shop to their heart's delight, while munching on snacks.

The next morning we met in a large sunny room for a full day of class. Judy taught in the AM, introducing the class to a special kit created just for the event. While the gals started stitching, Judy talked about her business and did a slide show about her life and JBW.  Judy is a super teacher (lots of notes), and answered lots of questions and offered great advice.

We took a break for lunch and headed out to a Chicago favorite, Portillo's, where we had genuine Chicago HOT DOGS!!! Yes, there's a dog hiding in there, under all the yummy toppings.  I forgot to photo the luscious chocolate layer cake, which was the perfect finish to our power lunch!

We returned to the hotel for the "Linda Show" after lunch.  I also presented the gals with an original design and kit.  While they stitched the afternoon away, I chatted about life at L* I started, the production process to get a design from sketch to publication to distribution, showed some family photos, and all that!  Yes, Judy and I were both pleased to get our audiovisual presentations to actually work!  We were a little worried to manage all that technology without my faithful husband/geek Alan, but we succeeded in style!

After the class concluded, we returned to the hotel suite for more shopping and chatting, and finally wrapped things up.  Before dinner, we took a detour over to Norden Crafts, one of our distributors, also in Chicago. Norden is a wonderful family-owned business, and we were pleased to meet owner Dave Stott and daughter Katy Fong for an after hours warehouse tour.  Katy also attended our event....extra fun, because we remember her at market when she was just a teenager, and now she's all grown up, super-efficient at her job, and a delight to be around.  Here is Katy posing in front of a beautiful wall of Weeks Dye Works fibers.

Every time L*K releases new designs, in addition to shipping to needlework shops all around the world, we also ship to our distributors. I've always wondered how they store and organize all that stuff!  Here is a portion of the L*K corner of the warehouse.  What a job to organize all those patterns, especially when we continually release new products!

After the warehouse tour, we detoured for some YUMMY Mexi-food - my favorite thing! We were joined by another needlework exec, Sharon Crescent from Crescent Colours (2nd from left). Sharon flew into Chicago to be a participant in our event...just one of the gang.  But Sharon's irrepressible spirit is hard to contain...she is a blast to hang with!

After we finished our Mexi fiesta, we did a twilight tour of the Tomorrow's Heirlooms shop.  I forgot to take pics.  Maybe I was in a Mexi-food stupor, maybe I was overwhelmed by all the lovely MODELS in the shop, maybe I just forgot. So, if you're in the Chicago area, stop in to see the shop for yourself!  They will be happy to see you!  

Many thanks to Pam and Kim from Tomorrow's Heirlooms for a great weekend getaway! Now I'm sweating it out in Kansas with another 106 degree afternoon, catching up on EVERYTHING that happened while I was gone...back to work!


  1. Sounds like a good time was had by all. Glad you enjoyed your trip, and that the participants enjoyed themselves!!

  2. Had a great time! Loved the class pieces really looking forward to completing them both. Pam and Kim once again showed us a great time with 2 great designers!

    Jean Messina

  3. Sounds like a wonderful event and good eats.

  4. Thanks Linda! I had a great time and enjoyed your talk about designing and your day in the life of Lizzie*Kate.