Do you have your Pin Money?

Have you ever heard of that phrase?  
Here is a pin money bank and “old” lady pin cushion from my antique collection.
 When I owned a quilt store we gave pin money away with certain amounts purchases.
Or bringing in show and tell or sharing a new quilting tip.
My customers loved their pin money, 
it was just like real money, 
but they could only buy fabric and quilting necessities from my store.
In the 1700’s English husbands gave their wives money on 
New Year’s Day to buy pins and other small items.  
Although we no longer get pin money on New Year’s day 
the term still means 
small amount of spending money for minor personal expenditure.  
For example: 
 quilting pins, rotary cutters, fabric, and computerized sewing machines.
You get the picture.
Will your head of household give you 
Pin money on this January 1st? 
I know I plan on giving myself what ever I need all year long.
May your pins be plenty, straight and sharp.
Happy New Year….
Hoping 2014 brings you joy.
Tammy V


As we come to the end of our JOYful blog, I knew this series wouldn’t be complete without one special person. Our president, Mr. Mark Dunn!  🙂

This week I got the opportunity to visit with him about this wonderful company he built and
find out what it is that truly brings him joy. 
Let me take you back to the 1970’s where it all began…

Mark’s father started his notions business in Atlanta, GA in the early 1970’s.
Mark worked along side his father for several years learning the trade.
It was here that his passion for the textile industry was sparked!

Mark signing papers to start United Notions

In 1975, Mark decided to move to Dallas and start his own business adventure.
Starting out with little capital, Mark would spend the first part of his days taking orders from his customers. Then he would drive straight to the vendors to pick up the product before whisking back to the warehouse to package and ship off the orders HIMSELF! It was very much a family business even at this time when family helped answer phones, fill orders and clean toilets.
He found it as a challenge & he loved it!

He referred to a book that has been very inspirational to him as he was starting his business,
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.
The book tells the story of a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles over food.
He is seized by his passion for flight which pushes him to learn everything he can about flying.
The idea is to fight for what you love, never give up & share what you love with others.

“Find your passion & enjoy what you do.” he told me.
“Don’t spend your whole life wishing you had done something different.”

Eventually all the hard work & persistence grew his business into the
wonderful company you now know as United Notions Moda.

For Mark it was about way more than simply selling bolts of fabric and notions to quilt shops.
It was about growing the quilting industry he loved so dearly.

He loves working with small independent quilt shops that have the same passion for quilting as he does. During our chat he showed me a picture he had sitting on his desk. It was of the owner of a quilt shop who he said was his 4th customer when he was just starting up the business. He talked so fondly of her and her shop and how it was people and shops like that that made him love what he does.

He prides himself in personally knowing his customers and their needs.

When asked why he enjoyed working with quilt shops so much his response was, “I’m an independent guy and I can relate to the shop owner. They put in the long hours and do all the work from taking orders to taking out the trash. But the main reason is they can teach and educate their customers. Sewing is being cut from our schools and big box stores just offer the product. A quilt shop helps the customer with fabric color choices, teaches new techniques and provides fellowship through classes allowing people to become passionate about quilting and giving back.”

Mark noted that the quilting industry has such a huge heart
and quilters are known for their generosity.
When there is a natural disaster, quilters are the first ones to rally up
to make quilts and donate supplies to those in need.

Semper Fi project in conjunction with Polly Minick and Laurie Simpson

Mark finds joy in giving back to the industry in several ways such as, serving on the board of directors for the Quilt Alliance, the National Quilt Museum and the advisory board for
International Quilt Market.

Another way Mark finds joy through giving is with his Collections for a Cause fabric lines.
Twice a year a line is reproduced from an antique quilt from his collection and the profits are shared with a charity.

The first collections for a cause collection still continues to be his favorite. This collection was inspired because of  one of his dear sales reps, Pam Wieland. Pam was suffering from Ovarian cancer and her spirit throughout the countless treatments was tireless. This is what started it all with the first collection for a cause proceeds going to Gilda’s House in honor of Pam Wieland.

Mark Dunn and Cheryl Freydberg presenting a check at Gilda’s House, Dallas, Texas

Mark wouldn’t be who he is without his loving family to help keep him in line! 😉 

He finds great joy in spending time with his lovely wife and kids.
Lucky for him he gets to work with several of them every day here at Moda.

As I visited with Mark he was using the word enjoy as he talked and I realized that word is the message he displays in his life.
Doing the things and
being around people is what he
and that ultimately is the JOY he shares with us all.


 Tomorrow is the last day of our Share the Joy series. 
And we definitely saved the BEST for last! 🙂
Can anyone guess who will be sharing their tale of JOY with us tomorrow?
Anyway, back to today! How could we possibly ask all of you to Share the Joy this season without sharing a little of what we love so dearly with YOU?! 

We decided to make the BIGGEST stocking yet and FILL it to the brim with all kinds of FABRIC & NOTIONS that would make even Santa blush. 
This stocking is the ultimate in Quilty Christmas Stockings. 
It has over $750 worth of treats in it including everything from a Fat Quarter Bundle, Layer Cake, Jelly Rolls, Nail Polish, Sewline Gift Set, Scissors, Rulers, Threads… you get the idea! It is AWESOME! 

How does one win you ask? 
Well you see, it is very easy… 
Just follow this magical link that will take you over to our FACEBOOK page to enter. 
Simply FOLLOW our FACEBOOK page and like & SHARE the photo on Facebook 
as your entry to WIN! The details will be listed on our Facebook page as well. 
Your last chance to win is Thursday, December 19th at midnight. One WINNER will be randomly selected and announced this FRIDAY from those who shared and liked the above photo ON FACEBOOK
And don’t worry, the winner will receive this stocking in time to open it on Christmas morning. 
*Sorry, limited to U.S. residents only. 
When you win will you keep all the goodies for yourself or 
Share the Joy with quilting friends? 🙂 

Word for the year "JOY"

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Hi everyone and Merry Christmas.
I’m Tammy V from marketing here at Moda.

When I hear the word Joy I think of my two grand babies 
and what joy they bring me daily.

Also I’m reminded of a dear quilting friend from years ago.   
She would pick a word each year to live by and that year patience was her word 
She said she had to work on it all year long. 

 I’m sure we all would agree patience is hard in this fast paced, want it now world. 
That Christmas she gave me a sweet angel with the word “Joy” on it.   
She said that I had brought her joy that year and it would be a good word for me to 
concentrate on the next year.  What a sweet, sweet woman.   
Thanks to Facebook, we found each other again just the other day.
I’m sorry to say that I didn’t keep Joy in my heart the whole next year, 
life happens.
But I do try to be joyful in my life every day.     

I think I will focus on JOY in my life for this season and 2014.  
I’ll make a pillow or wall hanging with Joy on it to remind me of 
all the joys that are in my life and to make others feel joy when they are around me.   
Besides my faith, family and friends, sewing has always brought me joy.   
 I started sewing doll clothes when I was still playing with dolls.   

My grandmothers and great grandmothers were all very crafty with sewing and crocheting.    
They blessed me with some of their talents and taught me 
wonderful lessons about sewing and life.   

The Joy of sewing took me through years of craft shows, owning a quilt shop, 
designing patterns & teaching to my current job here at Moda.   

Another friend asked me what my favorite part of working at Moda was and I said 
walking in the front door everyday to a job that brings me great joy.

I hope you have a joyful Christmas and a New Year.

What will your word be for 2014?

Got Moda Candy…Make Gifts!

 If it seems to be “crunch time” for finishing those last-minute hand-made gifts…there is a perfect solution…Moda candy packs. In fact, if you have Moda candy you still have time to make some great gifts. What could be better than beautifully coordinated collections of pre-cut 2 1/2″ squares to make sewing and quilting go fast?!

At my house it seems nearly every spare minute I have right now is spent sewing, and for all of the reasons listed above I’ve been sewing a lot with Moda candy packs. I’m making table runners and notebook covers, mini-quilts, pot-holders and trivets.

 Next on my list are some zipper bags made with 2 1/2″ Moda candy squares.

 I will admit, however, that you might have to make two of every project…because you just might not be able to give everything away! (True confession…there are two of these Kate Spain runners for just that reason).

And I’m pretty sure I’ll be making several more Winter Wonderland pot holder sets because these are just calling out to stay in my kitchen this season! And though this Winter’s Lane table runner has already been wrapped, I’m planning another with my remaining 2 1/2″ squares!

What gifts are you making right now with the Moda candy squares?