I took this photo of Susan Fitzgerald’s Instagram props drawer last week when I visited her studio to record a podcast.
I’ve got lots of interesting tidbits to share today.
First, I’m excited to be attending QuiltCon for the first time. I’ll be flying to Savannah next Thursday in the late afternoon and will have all day Friday and Saturday at the show. I feel honored to have been invited to record some podcasts while I’m there in the brand new QuiltCon podcasting booth. My only regret is that there isn’t room for a live studio audience – I wish there was! I’ll be talking to Kathy Miller of Michael Miller Fabrics, Heather Givans, and Jen Carlton-Bailly. Those shows will air throughout the spring. I also have a few meetings set up, but I would love to meet you, too. If you’re going to QuiltCon and would like to say hello, please don’t be shy. I don’t get to travel very often and I’m really looking forward to this experience!
Second, I spent the last two weeks talking with people who teach knitting and crochet at Michaels stores all over the country. Those conversations culminated in this article explaining what it’s really like to be an instructor at the nation’s largest arts and crafts chain and what the impending changes to teacher compensation there will mean. Researching this article was both fascinating and frustrating and I feel really good about sharing these teachers’ stories with a wider audience.
And finally, I’ve changed the popup here on the blog. For years I’ve had a HelloBar popup that slid in from the right (I’m sure you remember it, possibly not very fondly). Popups get a bad reputation and sometimes rightfully so, but they are incredibly effective. I stopped using HelloBar, though, because last week they “fixed” the free version I was using by removing the x that allowed you to close the popup! No matter how much I believe in having a pop up, I also believe you should let users close it easily when they want to. So, I’ve installed a free WordPress plugin called Scroll Triggered Boxes and I love it so far. The popup politely appears from the bottom (not at all on mobile) and once you’ve seen it you won’t see it again for 30 days. What do you think?
A couple of other things I’m working on…I’ll have a column in Sew News magazine this year. I’ve always wanted to write a column and I’m very excited about this opportunity. And I’ve hired the amazing Jacque Boltik to do a total redesign of my newsletter. Jacque has designed some of the best newsletters out there including the Ann Friedman Weekly and Lenny and I’m thrilled to have her apply her coding and design skills to mine (my newsletter content will remain the same – just delivered in a new and shiny package). The new version should launch in March.
So that’s the news from here. What are you up to?
new plugin looks great – but it’s so unobtrusive i almost didn’t notice it, since it just hovers over your sidebar and is white like your background!
That’s true. Hmmm.. I wonder if I should make it my light blue? Or gold? I’ll take a look at how it converts over the next month or so and then reevaluate. Thank you for the feedback.
I got the pop up on a mobile. It’s nice! Easier to close than the other one.
Whoops! I was wrong. It does show up on mobile! I’m so glad it was easy to close.
Dayna from Wisconsin says
I hate popups only because they drag my computer down. I have most of them blocked because I couldn’t get rid of them. Yours was easy to close. I LOVE those polka dot flowers in the picture. Know where I can get some? I’m busy sewing hats and quilts. It keeps me out f trouble.
I’m glad my new one is easy to close. I don’t know where those flowers are from. You could ask Susan?
Sandi James says
I live just outside of savannah and this will be my very first QuiltCon. I’m super excited and will definitely come by and say hi. It will be great to meet you!
Yay! I’m excited to escape from the snow and meet people while seeing beautiful quilts!
I’ll see you at QuiltCon! Maybe we could get a cup of coffee? I’ll be in on Thursday and out on Sunday. Looking forward to it.
Shelly Morgan says
I will be at Quiltcon on Saturday since it is close to my home on St. Simons Island. I will stop by. I can’t wait to meet you!
Leanne Parsons says
I noticed the X disappeared on my Hello Bar, but I thought it was just some glitch with mine. How frustrating that they “fixed” it this way. I’ll have to see what my other options are. Enjoy Quiltcon. I hope you’ll share your thoughts afterwards 🙂
Definitely appreciate the new pop-up – it feels less intrusive. I hate popups but I know they’re effective…
Why would anyone have pop ups that can’t be closed? I just leave websites that do that. And try to never visit them again. I found your pop-up unobtrusive. And I loved the article on the Michael’s classes.
Thank you so much. And I agree that a popup that can’t be closed is disrespectful of readers.
Cheryl Lynch says
I’ll be vending at Quiltcon, Booth #443. I’d love to meet you. Your email marketing class was so informative. It would be nice to meet you in person.
Yay! I hope to walk all around and see everything. Please be sure to say hello.
I hate pop ups that can’t be closed also! I won’t return to a site if they have one, no matter how much I like the site. Looking forward to seeing the new newsletter and of course hearing your podcasts. Have fun at QuiltCon. And if you want to get away from the snow you can also visit us here in Australia!!
Kate G says
Impressive journalist effort on the Michael’s story Abby. If there was a dogged-determination award (or pin) you would be my nomination. Thanks, also for the pop-up upgrade. That x is all-important to those of us who already subscribe.
Please keep up the good work!
So very glad that you changed the pop up. I was pulling my hair out trying to get rid of the old one last week, because I already subscribe ! (Can’t there be a box to tick that I can tick to say “already do thanks ! “)So a big thank you. I think that it is fantastic that you review and update your output so frequently, always keeping ahead of the curve. There is always something new in your newsletters and I look forward to reading them, so keep up the good work !