Coping with the Pandemic

Rhonda Pierce

Nobody is weathering the pandemic storm better than people that sew. We know how to make the best of situations. We certainly stepped up to serve our families & communities with masks. In addition to making masks, our own Rhonda Pierce, SCHMETZ Spokesperson, was inspired to finish UFO’s (unfinished objects) that seasoned up to 17 years. On SCHMETZneedles Facebook LIVE, on Wednesdays during May & June, she shared multiple newly completed projects. That led us to wonder how other industry professionals are using this unusual gift of time. Emails were sent to 24 sewing celebrities asking for a snapshot of how they spent their time. Were they sewing, resting, crafting, cooking? Everyone was asked to submit one pic with a paragraph (or two, or three, or more) describing their pandemic time. Fourteen responses were received. Their responses were compiled into SCHMETZ Inspired to Sew #79. Luckily, everyone is healthy. Over the next 14 weeks, you will enjoy reading the responses as their dedication to our industry thrives.

If you can’t wait to read the individual stories over the coming weeks, you can view SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW #79 by CLICKING HERE.

Rhonda’s New Year Re-SEW-Lutions!

Rita Farro – Our Favorite Wordsmith

Rita Farro,
Madeira Beach, Florida.

Just three miles from the Mississippi River, in the Iowa cornfields, you’ll find Rita Farro at home. If it’s Monday, there are sheets drying on a clothesline after being laundered in a hand painted washer & dryer (doesn’t everyone embellish home appliances?), enticing chocolate peanut butter cake baking in the oven, and Grandma Camp activities in progress. Mix in a laptop and a cell phone, Rita rocks my sewing world with heart and enthusiasm sprinkled with sarcasm.

Who is Rita Farro? If you have been reading SCHMETZ Inspired to Sew since issue #1, then you have read Rita’s writing. Rita interviews the feature talent each month. Her mission is to tell their sewing stories in writing for publication. With countless classes from the Des Moines Writers’ Workshop, Rita has honed her craft. Rita is a writer.

Rita and our own Rhonda Pierce met over 10 years ago in Las Vegas at the Vacuum and Sewing Dealers Trade Association (VDTA) wholesale show. They exchanged pleasantries. Rhona was a bit intimidated by Rita’s confidence and boldness. They have mutual industry friends. Their paths crossed at the now defunct American Sewing Expo in Novi, MI. As a vendor, Rhonda was interacting with Rita, public relations director for the show. Again, their paths crossed with Rita as publicity director for the Sewing & Stitchery Expo in Puyallup, WA.

Funny, Rhonda doesn’t remember the exact date that she called Rita asking if she would like to come on board as an advisor for product placement and marketing, although Rhonda is certain she could document the conversation in one of her work journals. That was 10 years ago, and their brainstorming and conversations now are just as spirited and insightful as our first.

Click HERE to read the full story at


Inspired to SEW, Five Years in Review

Inspired to SEW, Five Years in Review CoverIt’s true . . . time flies when you’re having fun.

When SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW was first created in 2014, we committed to a year. After the first twelve monthly issues, how could we stop? Readership and shares are strong. More importantly, we see stories to be told. SITS is not about techniques and how-to’s. Instead, we focus on the creative spirits contributing to our sewing and quilting community. We are surrounded by compelling stories revolving around the love of sewing. Our list for future interviews and features is so long, we will never publish everyone or every topic.

Issue #60 was a celebration of five years. We created an index so you can review sewing stars and discover new talent. SITS is a collaboration between friends and colleagues, Rhonda Pierce, Rita Farro and Paul Ragas. We enjoy shining light on the talent and stories that make our community great. We hope time flies as you are Inspired to SEW!

Click HERE to view and read 5+ years of SCHMETZ Inspired to SEW!


Quilting on the Next Level: Enter a Quilt Show

Rhonda Pierce with the first quilt she entered into a local quilt show.

Rhonda Pierce with the first quilt she entered into a local quilt show.

Have you thought about entering a quilt show? Our own Rhonda Pierce made the quilt above as a mystery challenge through her local quilt shop. It is the first quilt she ever entered into a show. She is not a competitive quilter, yet after all the work, she decided to celebrate its completion and entered a local show. It was accepted. Imagine her delight when walking onto the show floor. She was greeted by the first quilt, her quilt, on display.

There are reasons to enter quilt shows including the competitive spirit, cash prizes, award ribbons and winning quilting supplies and gift certificates. Surprisingly, for Rhonda, the sense of joy and validation were unexpected benefits.

The blogs for the next few weeks will discuss how to go about entering your quilt into a regional quilt show. Stick around . . . by the end of this series you too may overcome your fears and decide to enter your quilt into a juried show.


Quilting on the Next Level: Enter a Quilt Show

Quilting on the Next Level: How Do You Start?

Quilting on the Next Level: What are the Judges Looking For?

Quilting on the Next Level: Example Quilt Exhibits, OSQE