Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Bits ‘N’ Pieces Is Back

Dear Readers,

I realized that I haven’t done a bits ‘n’ pieces blog in awhile.  Nor have I done a fabric yenta blog either.  Don’t you worry though, the fabric yenta will be back real soon with a brand new series called “Big Macher.”  With that, let’s focus this week on some bits ‘n’ pieces.

First off, it is great to have my son home from sleepaway camp.  The first summer was a big success.  I could go on and on about his summer in detail, but that would be too boring.  Instead, I wanted to mention how much he learned.  What did he learn?  He learned some very important things that will help him be a huge success in life….NOT!  On the car ride home from the bus stop, he asked us if we knew the a, b, c, d, etc. curse words.  Uh- vey!  Can’t wait to hear what he learns next summer.

Second, I thought you should know that my family took a short summer vacation last week.  We went to Toronto and I gotta say, it was pretty awesome. The flight was short which was a big plus.  The weather was great.  There was so much to do.  Here is some of what we saw and did in the short time (I need a vacation from my vacation):  Blue Jays game, Niagara Falls, CN Tower, aquarium, zoo, winery, Toronto Island, swim, foot massages, eat, eat, eat and did I mention…eat.  Highly recommended.

Third, I wanted to let everyone know that my local JCC no longer needs any sewing machine donations.  Thanks to the generosity of the following people and companies, we have met and exceeded our quota.  Standing ovation.  Thanks so much to:

  • Mr. Philipp Ueltschi, the brand manager of sewing machines for Brewer.
  • Mrs. Diane K. Plunkett of Qbee Quilting Lodge in Jay, New York.
  • Mrs. Joanne Hubbard who is my friend from the fabric industry, an amazing quilter, my most loyal blog reader and commentator, a super knowledgeable quilter, a judge and just one of the most kind people I have ever met.  (Joanne, you are not allowed to comment on this blog!)
  • Mrs. Kathy Aust who is one of our amazing sales reps.  I was shocked by the kindness of Kathy’s gesture to buy 2 machines for the JCC.  Amazing!

God bless you all and thank you so much.  It’s great to know that kind people still exist in this crazy world and I didn’t even have to beg.

Finally, I wanted to elaborate on the machines that Joanne attained for the JCC because she truly went above and beyond.  She went to a local school that was selling all their old sewing machines and she bought them so they could be donated to my local JCC.  She was very clever and fixed up a couple machines and sold them off to pay for all the machines that she bought.  Very resourceful if you ask me. This boy from Long Island wouldn’t have thought of that one…that’s for sure.  The problem is that now she is stuck with some extra machines that she doesn’t need.

Joanne and I were discussing a plan of what to do with the extra machines.  She mentioned that some of them needed to be fixed up and I said I would pay for the fixes.  After they are fixed, we agreed that we would offer them (not sure how many are available yet) as a free giveaway to someone in need of a machine that lacks the resources to get one.  With that, keep your eye out for a future blog where I will ask you to give me some suggestions of people who deserve one of these machines and why they deserve it. And the winners will get machines.  How about them apples?  (Quote from Good Will Hunting.)

That’s all the bits ‘n’ pieces that I have for you this week.  Please people, make the best of what remains of summer.  Take the time to re-energize yourself for the rest of the year.

Scotty Bits ‘N’ Pieces




Author: Scott Fortunoff

Author of Tales of 4th Generation Textile Executive Blog. President of Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp. and A.E. Nathan Co., Inc. Co-President of FreeSpirit Fabrics. V-P of Henry Glass Fabrics. President of Scott’s Free Sewing Machines. Creator of the #sewrevolution.

42 thoughts on “Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Bits ‘N’ Pieces Is Back”

  1. What a wonderful idea. Will you make them available to organizations as well? I know our Women’s Shelter could use a machine.

      1. Hi Scott I was flooded out in hurricane Harvey in Sulphur Louisiana I lost my sewing machine and all my fabric since then I had to relocate got a sewing machine from goodwill but you can’t rewind the bobbin on it I can’t deal with that I do it by hand I would like some fabric and notions please thank you. 337-965-6937

        1. Hi Debbie,
          I am not sure if you are asking for a machine or not, but in spite of having a damaged machine, you do actually have a machine and I am trying to focus on people without any access to machines whatsoever. As for the notions and fabric, that is not part of this. I am just sending sewing machines. Sorry.

    1. We were not affected by these storms but I know a young women that has been fighting her own storms in life. Divorce, a disabling health disorder, depression and many more issues that need not be named. We started a women’s sewing class at our church and I managed to get her out of He house and involved however she is having to borrow a used machine and not a great one at that. This activity seems to be a great stress release for her and she is using her ability, on this old borrowed machine, to help
      Me with my ministry by making NICU blankets and superhero hospital gowns. It would be such a blessing to see her have a machine if her own. Thank you for considering us.

      1. HI Terri,
        This is very kind of you to make this request for your friend who has been dealing with storms. I can definitely consider this request when deciding who will get free machines. Please send me your phone number and your friends to scott@jaftex.com.
        Have a great weekend.

  2. Isn’t it awesome that someone’s generosity overflowed so much that it gets a second run? Does my heart good in this crazy world! Double blessings!

    1. Hi Erin,
      That is actually a really good idea. That being said, after the blog comes out, we will have to see the types of proposals we get and who is worthy. Thanks for your suggestion.

  3. What a wonderful idea/blessing! I am from Victoria TX. My sewing room flooded (not from flooding waters, but from the driving wind and rain that seemed to last forever) during Harvey. Luckily none of my fabric got wet, but we had to move everything out of the room so that we could get the wet flooring out. All my sewing furniture sat in an inch of water until the wind and rain eased up on that sunday morning, at which time we moved all my sewing furniture (including my sewing machine) into my husband’s shop, where it will stay until we can get the flooring done. All my fabric is in bedroom in the house. It may be a while before we get to the sewing room because we need to take care of other things right now. A new sewing machine might be nice but I know there are alot of people out there that need alot more than me wanting a new machine. So thanks for your generous offer. Sandy Brzozowske, Victoria, TX

  4. Wow, how wonderful if I could get a new sewing machine. I’m a hurricane victim from Aransas Pass, Texas, yes we had the eye, and I’m living in a mess and my machine is ruined. Not only did we have hurricane winds but a 13 ft water surge. I work hard for a living at the Naval Air Station so I can do what I love and that’s quilting. I thought my machine and fabrics were high enough when I evacuated but it was not. We lost our barn, water shed, garage and roof on our home not to mention 30+ trees. I just cannot replace everything and a machine would be so wonderful . On top of the hurricane my husband contacted a bacterial parasite working on our property and two toes were amputated 3 days ago. I need to do what I love and no FEMA or SBA can help me like you. Thank you.

    1. Hi Kimberly,
      I am sorry to hear what you are going through. Please send me your phone number and I will reach out to you when your request is under consideration and I need more info. Please email me at scott@jaftex.com. Hang in there and please send good wishes to your husband.

  5. Dear Scott, I was going to send a request for a free sewing machine, I make Hospice Quilts for Treasure Cove Hospice in West Palm Beach. I also make “magic” pillowcases for the nursing homes that had patients transferred to nursing homes away from the storm damage. We have lost two of our adult children in the last three years, four months apart, one from a motorcycle accident and one from colon cancer. Sewing and Quilting had been a lifeline for me, therapy in my own living room, grief share in cutting and piecing fabric to make a design. My machine is a Singer and almost 12 years old and it won’t sew through the layers of my quilts. I live in Waco, Texas and my husband, who retired from L-3 in Waco, has taken all the courses to become a FEMA inspector and is now deployed to Fla. If you see fit to send me a machine thank you and if you don’t, thank you for all you are doing! God bless you!

    1. Hi Dawn,
      Thanks for your note. Sorry to hear all that you have had to endure lately. I will consider your plea. I will be in touch when and if I need more information. Hang tough!

    2. Hi my name is Sharon Knickman I would like to enter you contest my cat knock my sewing machine off my sewing table and I have no money to get it fix here is my phone number, 865-773-9184 I hope to hear from you than Scott

  6. I’m not in Texas, but my daughter lives near Houston. I just needed someplace to whine where she would not see it. My husband divorced me after 25 years and I walked away with the bills and 10 flat rate boxes of belongings. 4 were the best of the fabric stash I just could not part with. Which means my daughter in Houston got the Janome machine I had saved for years to get and it was less than 6 years old.
    It did survive the flood, but since I had to move to Alaska to get a job, I miss the old girl very much. And I miss my daughter and grandchildren too! So I’m alone in Alaska trying to save up enough to get a Joann machine with the coupon. Winter is coming up here, and the nights can get very long. There. I have whined, so now I can go back to my regular life and feel like someone heard me.
    Give the machines to those people who have lost everything. They deserve them so much. When you lose everything, knowing that a stranger will help you out can make us old folks cry with relief. My daughter and son in law spent 12 hour days the week after the hurricane cleaning out houses and tearing walls down to the studs for a lot of folks they did not know, or people who were just friends of friends. I was so proud of them, I cried and it wasn’t my house they were salvaging.

  7. I am from south But live in Ky now. My sewing machine quit working today as I was sewing quilts for the nursing homes as I do every year. Don’t know if I qualify or not can only try. Thank you for what you are doing to help the people that have lost everything.

  8. I am asking for a machine for my mother, she is one of the strongest women I know. Her being on a fixed income leaves little to no money for extras, like a machine. Mom’s has had it and no longer works, and I can’t afford one being on a fixed income myself.
    My mom has had it rough surviving colorectal cancer stage four, double best cancer, and a double heart valve replacement, and loosing my dad.
    Mom has always helped us with everything from our own families to just listening and I would love for her to get a machine, it’s the one thing she does most and that’s making quilts. I would say it’s her life now.

    417 527 0266

    1. Hi Denise,
      It was nice speaking with you earlier. Thanks for your submission. As I mentioned, I am trying to focus first on people with no access to machines. It was nice of you to do this for your mom. Take care of yourself.

  9. Good morning Scott my granddaughter just had a premature little girl on Wednesday — a sewing machine would be a blessing at this time to make a lot of things for her and the family – our family does not have a lot of money so all of us are together to make sure everyone survives. What ones does not have the others try to jump in an help. This would greatly be appreciated. The Lord brings people into our lives for a reason– this would be one of these blessings. Thank you for the !

  10. we went under 4 foot of water here in Baytown tx. the neighbors had damage to a point of no return. one house had the bricks slid off the sides of the house. I loss materials, machines and items I had made to sell in the trade days. I will look for more machines and start over.

  11. I live in Brunswick Georgia. Hurricane Matthew and Irma came to our coastal town. Both left destruction. We have spent the last 3 weeks cleaning up debris from our yard and flooded garage. We were out of power for 5 days and lost all our food. WE evacuated to middle Georgia where hurricane Irma followed. There, we lost power for 2 days and 6 trees came down. One on the barn. We helped clean the property before coming home to clean ours. Our town is still recovering. You can see piles of debris everywhere. My sewing machine was a futura ce 200 . It no longer works. I had it serviced in Byron Ga but it cannot be repaired. I would love to get a machine from you. I have a 19-year-old daughter that I want to teach to sew. When she was little she would hand sew clothes for her stuffed animals and her dog. Please consider me for a machine. Thank you

  12. Hello Scott, I wanted to put myself in for possibly receiving a new machine. I was not affected by any of the natural disasters but I am in desperate need of a machine. I recently began making dresses, reusable menstrual pads, shorts and stuffed teddies for Operation Christmas Child boxes that I am putting together. The machine I had recently broke (on the 21st) of this month and I have absolutely no way to complete these items. My original machine was a birthday gift from my father years ago. My husband and I can not afford to buy another machine because I can no longer work due to having peripheral neuropathy and fibromyalgia and we have to live off of my husband’s income alone. We have five children to support and a new machine can’t come before food and other needs of my children. We simply don’t have the expendable income for such a cost. Making the items for occ was a blessing for me as I was able to feel I was once again contributing to something worthy and now it’s been taken from me. If you would consider me for a machine please call me at 240-714-1923. I live in Hagerstown MD. Thank you for reading about my desire to get back to sewing.

  13. Thank you so much for the new sewing machine! I am beyond humbled by you generosity. You are truly changing the world. In the middle of living in such devastation you blessed our family for that I am beyond grateful.

  14. Scott,
    I don’t know if this is the site to request one of your sewing machines or not. I am on disability and husband has been out of work for over a year. We have granddaughters that will start college in the fall and I can’t do alot physically but I can sit and sew. I would love to make curtains and spreads for my family and the college bound girls. You are so good to put the offer out there and I’m sure many ladies and gentlemen are thankful for your generosity.
    Charlotte Springer

  15. Hi Scott..
    I don’t live south but thought I’d send you a note.
    I was in a bad motorcycle accident 10+ years ago. Should have left this great earth but it just wasn’t my time. They say your not suppose to ask “why” you weren’t taken but sometimes it just pops in your head.
    For years I wondered as I wasn’t able to work anymore.
    A nice lady in our senior group teaches quilting. Thought it was a great idea! Different blocks to make my first quilt at my speed, I was in! Since then, I’ve joined two guilds! They both do special projects: one to local children’s wards, community service one month produced placemats for meals on wheels (over 350)! Making sm quilts to match a stuffed animal for children in the hosptal during Christmas time and anything anyone will take! Just to name a few..!
    It also has put a wear and tear on my machine. Mine doesn’t like to work on some days (who does!) and some stitches have just given up! I would be so grateful to win one of your machine!! I would be able to continue my “purpose” in this world and by giving something to those in need…
    Thank you for offering this amazing opportunity!

    1. Hi Linda,
      Thanks for your message. Sorry to hear about your accident and I am very glad that “it wasn’t your time.” Anyway, my mission is to give sewing machines to people with no machine whatsoever. I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but in spite of your machine not being in the best shape, you do have a machine nonetheless. That being said, I will add you to my list of potential recipients, but I am going to focus on those with no machine at all first. Thank you for your patience.

  16. I too recently went through hurricane Harvey. I was in the middle of making a quilt top for a dear friend when all of a sudden we lost power. When our power came back on the next day, I went to my machine to work on my quilt top and my machine didn’t work anymore. I tried everything to get it to work but to no avail, she was gone. I hope you can see it in your heart that I may be the one who is privelaged enough to own one of your free machines. Thank you and God bless.

  17. I am wondering if you still have any sewing machines . Mine machine just died. It was old ,about twenty years. I am sixty eight and handicap. Sewing is my hobby, make the gifts I give for Christmas. My husband is a survivor of stage four colon cancer. I was rear ended, just two months after having both knees replaced, both knees hit the dash. I also have a -fib , I can’t do a lot of things , but sewing brings me joy. I know other people are worse off than I. But with us being only on social security, and having so much medical bills, we just cannot afford replacing it now. Thank you for reading this. And as much as I want a sewing machine, put me below some of the others that are worse off than I, God will bless me one way or another.

  18. I would love to enter my friend, Stephanie. The day before Thanksgiving 2017, her 8 year old son, Sylar, was killed in a tragic accident. While playing hide and seek at the grandparents house a loaded gun was found. The 12 year old was checking to see if the gun was loaded and it went off, killing Sylar. The 6 year old was right there as well. Stephanie is a nurse and did everything she could to save him. She has told me several times how much she would love to get into quilting. I’ve offered to teach her and let her use my machine. She’d like her own but can not afford it at this time. I believe with all my heart quilting helps us get through the rough patches in life. Please consider her. She lives in Pineville, Louisiana.

    Here is her most recent Facebook post:
    People expect you to get better… Or maybe they run out of things to say? Or maybe they don’t want to bring it up in fear of making it worse?… I don’t know… Truth is, it really doesn’t “get better”. You just learn how to live with it. Maybe to some, that is better…. Yeah I still function. I still tend to my kids. I still go to work. We still go to ballgames & do homework. We still do what is expected of us, because it’s the way things are…. There’s times I’d love to quit, remove myself from trying, find a way to take away the pain… But that’s not really an option in my beliefs…. So I live with it…. i love to hear people ask how we are doing. I love to talk about Sylar. I want to feel & express what I feel… I hope one day I can be a strength to others. Many times I feel as I have none myself . Then there are days I overcome an amaze myself. No one deserves to lose a child under any circumstances… And I often question why I had to lose mine under these circumstances . Not only did I lose my 8 year old Son… I lost what was my family unit, my lifestyle, my routine… It’s a terrible loss. Everything’s different. And I have permission to ask why? But just know it doesn’t get better & you don’t get over it… but people like me – We are just fragile people learning to live with it and what life is for us now…

    I would have liked to post a picture here but can’t figure out how to do it. I will email you with his name, Sylar Webb as the subject.

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