Debbi Gray, CIO, Cool Stitches

Hi. Debbi Gray here, creator of Cool Stitches, a pop-up Sewing Lounge in Fleming Island, Florida. I’ve had this idea in mind for a sewing lounge for a number of years, and finally decided it’s time.

My background is in business and marketing of technical services, and while I enjoy the challenges encountered and experience gained, being in my sewing studio is one of my favorite things. I have decades of sewing experience, but consider myself a constant student. I love to tinker and solve problems, so servicing and repairing sewing machines was not a stretch. My love of learning new things, and my steady recovery of mistakes encountered in any new adventure provides me with a wealth of experience. Cool Stitches is my outlet for sharing  this experience.

The idea for the pop up sewing lounge evolved from the foundations of a business plan that seemed to stall once we got to the question of where to put it. Or, more importantly, how to pull off a brick and mortar location. Not to be slowed down, I revamped the plan, focusing in on the piece holding the most excitement for me – bringing people together to learn how to sew, sew better, and explore new ideas through the inspiration in seeing each other’s amazing projects. This idea, along with some great local venues, and very talented people who love teaching, laid the foundation for some pretty exciting things to share with everyone.

I come from a family of creative and fun people touching about every facet of art you can think of. I’ve been sewing most of my life, but really began studying construction techniques and design in the last 20 years. I’m still a fan of garment sewing and have the stash of fabric and patterns to show for it. My favorite textiles to work with are probably silks and cottons. I love dupioni silk, and a good shirting fabric. I enjoy teaching beginners to sew and sew better through projects they want to do. It’s not uncommon to find my home studio filled with a group of friends and family tackling a project we saw somewhere. This includes our sons and my husband. They all sew to some degree and can never claim they can’t do their own hems and buttons!

At the end of the day, I am an event planner, and Cool Stitches as a pop up sewing lounge is the perfect fit for my love of sewing and my enthusiasm for pulling together a great event. I love working with people who are as excited about all of this as I am, so the combination promises to provide us with some stellar sewing activity!

Cool Stitches will take you on a sewing adventure where you can explore new ideas, complete projects using new techniques, and develop a love of sewing. We believe when you immerse yourself in a classroom or workshop environment, it enriches what you are learning from reading and watching tutorials. You will learn new things, make new friends, and surely enjoy yourself along the way. You can watch for newly scheduled activities at www.coolstitchesjax.com.

Thanks so much for your interest in Cool Stitches! I’d love to hear from you about what projects you’re interested in.