Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Some New Bits ‘N’ Pieces


Call me gullible.  Call me a sucker.  I always seem to give people the benefit of the doubt because it is just in my nature.  When my wife and I review all the SFSM requests, she laughs at me because I say “yes” to just about every single one.  Let’s call a spade a spade that someone could be a good liar and get a free machine from me if they really wanted one.  You know what, if they want it so bad, they could have it.  Such is life, but I just don’t think that the people I am dealing with are the types that would do anything like that.

As I give away the free sewing machines, I think everyone is still in a little bit of disbelief.   It’s funny when I speak to candidates on the phone to discuss their request and I say to them, “You will get this awesome and free EverSewn machine”, there is always a dead silence.  Then they say, “Seriously?”  I say, “Yes!  Seriously!”  Then I say, “Keep your eye out for the Fedex delivery person.  Talk to you later.”

You will be happy to know that I finally tracked down Linda Yarrow (thanks to a little help from a friend), one of my first SFSM winners. Recall that she is the one who is helping young girls, at The Freedom House in Conroe, Texas, who were rescued from the slave trade. Rather than sending a new Eversewn machine, I decided that they should get multiple machines since there are like 20-30 girls/women involved.

Anyway, if you remember, my good friend, Joanne Hubbard, bought a bunch of machines from a local school and fixed them up. She did some creative bargaining and bartering and the results were great.  In all, she ended up with 7 fully functioning machines.  These will ALL go to The Freedom House (see the photo she sent me of one box with machines and some fabric).  Joanne and I couldn’t be happier about trying to help these poor ladies. Perhaps this will give them hope….just a little or maybe a lot. But what if this changes their lives?  We will just have to wait and see…..and pray……and hope of course.

In addition to the machines, I have sent them a large, nearly 200 yard, roll of fabric.  I know this will go to good use and when they are done with it, I will send more.  On top of all that, I am going to make a donation of $1000 to The Freedom House.  This is not the end for me people of The Freedom House.  I am going to continue to be in touch with Linda and the people at this great organization because I am now compassionate about this cause. It’s like selecting winners for SFSM, I know it when I read it. Linda’s request hit a chord and piqued my concern in a big way. I am going to help them indefinitely.  Sometimes you just get that feeling and right now, I have that feeling.  You ladies can count on me for years to come! Check out their website  or their Facebook page and try not to cry.


As much as my audience probably wants to hear me say something about quilt market, I am going to withhold judgment until after and go with my new optimistic and HOPEFUL me.  Did you hear that collective sigh of relief?  I am hopeful that this Quilt Market is a true success for everyone.  Amen to that!

Speaking of market, please don’t be shy about setting up an appointment with me.  I always get the, “You are too busy nonsense or you are the President.”  I am there to work, so please email me to arrange an appointment as I am not above meeting with anybody…scott@jaftex.com or 800-294-9495 x 218.  I welcome the opportunity to work with existing customers and meet new customers as well.  Booth #2319.

A lot of people are intrigued by my SFSM project so I decided that I would block off 2 hours during the quilt market if people want to visit with me at Booth #2319 on Sunday from 10-12 (STUDIOE FABRICS) to discuss SFSM.  I will have one of the Eversewn machines at the booth if you want to check it out.  In addition, since a lot of people want to contribute in their own way, we can discuss other possibilities.  One suggestion on how you could help is by sharing fabric and sewing tools with some of the winners who really don’t have much if anything.  I am also open to any ideas that you may want to share.  I hope you can stop by to chat.  Thank you.

Just as I was wrapping up this blog post, I got an surprising email from my new friend Philipp Ueltschi of EverSewn.  He advised me that he would be donating 10 EverSewn Starter Kits to the next 10 SFSM winners.  How amazing and generous is that?  I can’t get over how so many people want to contribute to this great cause.  Anyway, if any of my readers are attending market, I urge you to go visit EverSewn at booth 734 & 735 to see all the great products they offer or just to go say hi to Philipp and thank him and his team for being an integral part of SFSM.  I think that would be very nice and I know that I plan to buy Philipp a drink….or 2 at market.

Have a great week.  12 days until schoolhouses and 13 days until the Quilt Market floor opens to visitors.


932 words including these.

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.

30 thoughts on “Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Some New Bits ‘N’ Pieces”

  1. My machine came on Thursday! I posted a pic on AR Nathan page…. I think it posted but not sure if I did it right. Thank you so much for the machine. It is so nice. Now to make that Minecraft quilt and pink quilt! This machine is going to bring such joy and happiness. My grands were so excited when they saw it when they came home from school on Thursday. Who wouldn’t think the machine is cool … it’s so modern looking.
    Thank you again. I’ll post pics of the quilts when I make them. Might be awhile tho.
    Have fun at market!

    1. Join and happiness is the goal. Another lucky winner.
      Yes I saw your post on AENathan, how come you put it there? They have like 400 friends and isn’t a very active page. Do you mind posting on Studioe?
      Have fun! Send pictures of the happy grands plz.

      1. I didn’t really know where to post it. I saw there werent many friends there. I most def will post it on studio e site. So my grandson is into Minecraft… ask me how much I know about it??? Too much. Well he has a lot of faith in me because now I have a sewing machine I can make his quilt with all the characters on it. Ughhhh. Creeeper and all! So he thinks!
        Thank you again!

    1. The more you give the more you get back…. I have Always and forever believe that! I was curious if you were going to go visit the freedom house while you’re here at Market? They are less than an hour away. Easy trip from GRB on the loop (610) to I45 to Conroe! I haven’t seen you mention it anywhere else so I was just curious I’m a local houstonian and didn’t know that amazing place existed in Conroe…. where I travel regularly for business.

      1. Morning Bridgette,
        As I told you in the email yesterday, I was planning a trip to Freedom house this week on my way to market, but my schedule was unfortunately prohibitive. That being said, I am going to plan better for next year’s quilt market and definitely visit the Freedom House. I like the way you think!

  2. Scott, what a wonderful read on this Monday morning. If you are ever back again in Spring Hill, KS (lol) come see us again.

  3. I’m thrilled to hear random people talking about the SFSM winners! I already told you about the guild program I did where they were all talking about it. They are have begun organizing their own local project and will decided their first recipient next week. Last week, one of my students had read about SFSM and was intrigued about how and why some company – more specifically some company president – would do this. I thought for a moment and simply responded that you and your companies are not typical. You are the exception to the rule!

    I’m with you when it comes to being gullible and believing the best of people. I really don’t even want to think about how life would be if I thought otherwise.

    I hope you are super busy at Market and come away with a warm and fuzzy feeling. Good luck!

    Have a great week and thanks for all YOU do!

  4. Hey Scott, I bet you never considered the ripple effect that such a generous and caring act would make! I have always said that kindness, generosity, and compassion are traits that we have to see in action to learn. They are only taught by example, and what an amazing example you (and your sweet wife for helping with all the requests) are. Your acts rippled forward and, I suspect, will continue to do so for quite some time. I call it impacting eternity. Bonus for you? Your boys see love and compassion in action. Thank you for being that example to us all!

  5. My daughters friend lost everything (except her purse, diaper bag, and two young children in an apartment complex that was destroyed by wildfires in California. She was just learning to sew and her machine was one of her losses. Would she be eligible for a machine?

    1. She would definitely be eligible. She needs to post her story in the blog comments like you have done here. Then she needs to send me her address and phone number. This was very nice of you to do for her.

  6. I make lap qu8lts for some veterans at my local va hospital. My machine quit so I have been sewing them by hand. That’s OK cuz I am retired vet and gives me something to do. The vets seem to like them

  7. I would love to have a machine. My mom passed away in feb. And am taking care of Dad who is mostly blind and has Alzheimers. Wanting to make some memory quilts from her clothing for my kids and do some sewing for grandkids. The rest of her clothes will go to a crisis center. He is 87 and I moved 5 hours to care,for him so know no one here. It would help me pass some time. I am new to quilting but have plenty of time to learn.

  8. I would like to nominate a member of the sewing group I’m in. She is a stay at home mom of 3 kids who is hand sewing costumes as she has lost her machine. It finally went into a shop after 4 months, but the town where the shop is had a massive fire and she has lost her machine. Her name is Emily and I know she would never ask for herself as she knows others have lost more than just their machine, but this is why I want to nominate her. Ehomemadebagsandpillows@yahoo.com

    1. Cristina,
      Good morning. The first thing I have to say is that your friend should contact the people that own that shop because they probably have insurance and insurance should pay for her machine. Second, if Emily wants a machine, you are going to have to email me her contact information including phone number and address since I will actually need to speak to her to award her a machine. My email is scott@jaftex.com. Hope to hear from you soon.

  9. Hi Scott, Today I am having Christmas in October!!! My sewing machine and a starter kit magically showed up on my doorstep this morning!!! I am more than thrilled for my gift. I plan to call my cancer center to ask if they will accept handmade items for patients, or will I need to make them at the center. Either way, I am mobile due to the handle on the machine. You cannot imagine how excited I am. I was dreading Christmas this year because I would have no gifts to bring, but not now! (Btw, they won’t eat my cooking, LOL).
    Many, many thanks for your philanthropy. Pictures will follow as soon as I learn how to post them….. Bless you, Scott, for the work you do. Patti Walker

  10. Hi Scott
    I would like to nominate a lady, Lorrie, who is in one of the Facebook quilting groups in which I am a member. She and her husband are both on disability and are living on very little income. She mentioned that she wanted to make quilts for her four grandchildren but couldn’t afford to buy fabric. I sent her enough fabric to make quilts but she had to wait 2 weeks to even buy a spool of thread. She got out her mom’s old sewing machine but discovered it doesn’t work and she has no money to get it fixed. She is devastated that she can’t make the quilts for her grandchildren. She also wanted to try to get donations of fabric to make charity quilts. Please help to make her life a little brighter by gifting her one of your sewing machines. I truly believe she needs some help and happiness in her life. Thank you for your consideration.

    Leslie Day

  11. Hi Scott. The reason I think I deserve a sewing machine is it’s such good therapy for my hand after my surgery and I am really enjoying sewing more than I ever thought possible .thank you for considering me.

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