I am so grateful and appreciative for the marvelous response that so many of you have had toward the prospects of being testers! Thank you! Because of this great response, I am no longer able to accept additional testers at this time, but would love for you to please leave me a message if you are still interested. I'll contact you if I have some available spots come open, or if I have any special projects that require additional help. Thank you once again! ~Shelli
Remember the game of telephone that we used to play as kids? We'd sit in a circle or a long line, and whisper a message from one person to the next until the last person revealed what he or she heard the message to be?
Most of the time, we got a great laugh, as the end message was very different from the original! My teachers in school used this as a vivid object lesson of how vital clear communication is in life, and how easily information can become confused if we're not careful.
A quote on my Mary Engelbreit Calendar this year by George Bernard Shaw makes me laugh: "The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place." My thoughts immediately shot to my handsome hubby and myself. Can anyone relate? (Uh,love you, honey!)
Anyway, my point in all this, is that as a pattern designer, and writer of instructions, I want my "original messages " or pattern instructions to my customers and fellow crafters to always be understood and as accurate as I perceive them to be in my own brain. My goal is to make certain my instructions are clear and easy for everyone to follow.
So, I'd love your help! Each month I provide "You Can Make This" with a project that they offer to the public for free through their newsletters. In addition to that, I'm constantly working on my own patterns and designs for hand and machine embroidery. If you would be interested in being involved with "Needle in a Haystack" and being a *tester* for these types of projects, please read on:
Here's how the testing process works:
1. First of all, let me know in a comment or through my email address what you might be interested in testing, and please make sure I have a way to contact you:
*hand-embroidery patterns (no sewing involved)
*sewing projects (no embroidery involved)
*a combination of embroidery and sewing projects
*machine embroidery designs
*any other combination of the above
I'll keep your name and email on file and contact you when projects become available. Do not feel like you are required to test everything that comes along just because you signed up! I'm a busy mom, too, and I know that some times of the year are simply more crazy than others, and sometimes I can't take on one more thing. Signing up simply let's me contact you when I have something, and you are always free to choose to test, or wait for another opportunity. And of course, if you ever want to opt-out and not have me contact you anymore, that is certainly fine as well!
2. Whenever some of my patterns or projects are ready, I'll contact you via email to see if the timing is good for you, and if it is a project you'd like to work on. If the time is just not right for you, or it's simply not a project you want to invest in, as I said above, there is never an obligation! I'll contact you with other projects at other times and if it works for you later on, that will be great!
If you are interested at the given time, I'll follow up by sending you the instructions. My request here is that you please commit to the project at this point if at all possible (of course, I understand emergencies, and when things go awry!) and return the feedback to me within 2-3 weeks of receiving the instructions.
3. You create the given project as outlined in the pattern, take a photo of the completed project to send me (the photo will be uploaded to "You Can Make This"--I can do this, or you can yourself as well. It will serve as a motivation and inspiration for others to give the project a try, as well as a testimonial of its worth) and provide me with feedback: clarification of measurements, any parts that were unclear to you, grammar or spelling errors that I somehow overlooked, etc. Of course, I'd also love to hear the positive stuff as well, if you have any thoughts to offer!
That's it! But, I'm sure you might also be asking yourself..."What's in it all for ME?" I'll tell you:
*You will be one of the first to have one of these patterns in your hands before they are released to the public.
*Your project photo will be posted to the product pages of You Can Make This, You Can Quilt This, or SWAK Embroidery, so you can show off your talents, creativity, and expertise to the internet world! Again, your work will serve as inspiration and a springboard for other sewers/embroiderers/crafters or possibly beginners who might become excited to try something new.
*From these patterns, you can make the projects as much as you'd like for gifts and at times for sale, depending on the various copyright guidelines for each pattern.
*After I receive everyone's feedback for a given pattern and make any necessary changes, I will send you the finalized copy for your files that will be released to the public.
*No matter if the pattern is a project for YCMT or a pattern for sale from "Needle in a Haystack", it is yours to keep for free.
*And of course, you will have a newly finished item of home decor to display, or a gift to give a friend that you didn't previously have!
Being a tester is a great opportunity to dust off those stitching/quilting/sewing skills and try some things that maybe you haven't done for a while. If you're like me, sometimes an outside motivation gets me going, and gets me out of my comfort zone a bit! PLEASE let me know if you are interested by leaving me a comment. I'd love for you to be involved!