Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone who signed up for the Bobbin’s Nest Studio newsletter and visited our new online store!

And now, without further ado, the winner of a set of 1/4 yard cuts of this fabulous Sandi Henderson Secret Garden fabric is…

Gracie!

Congratulations! The winner has already been notified by e-mail. Thanks to everyone for participating!

Bobbin’s Nest ONLINE + Secret Garden Giveaway!!

Most of you probably know that I work at Bobbin’s Nest Studio in Santa Clara. And that for the last two months or so I have been spending tons of time working on the shop’s new online store as the sort of technical jane of all trades.

Well, today is the day! I’m super excited to announce the launch of the online store! We are now taking orders from all over the United States (sorry, but we aren’t taking international orders at this point – one thing at a time!).

We are offering my readers 10% off your first order!
Just use coupon code ALAMODE10 at checkout.
Orders over $100 always ship for free!

We’ll be adding products all the time, but currently we have all of the fabric in the store,

loads of our most yummiest yarns,

some of our favorite patterns (we only have sewing patterns up currently, but knitting patterns are also on the way!),

as well as knitting and sewing notions, knitting needles and crochet hooks, gift certificates, and memberships in our Honorary Bobbin’s program. We’ll be adding some of our favorite books as well in the upcoming weeks. And, as I said, there will be loads more products be added in the future in all categories!

I’m super excited that we have finally launched, but the work has just begun!

GIVEAWAY

To celebrate the launch of the store, I have an awesome giveaway for you. We just got in the spectacular Secret Garden fabric from Sandi Henderson in the Tea Time colorway (other colorways of this collection coming soon!). If you have not seen and touched this in person, you are missing out. All quilting cottons are not created equal, and this fabric has a really lovely, soft, drapey quality. For the first time in years I am sorely tempted to buy every print!

But you are the lucky ones this time around, because I have a 1/4 yard bundle of Secret Garden to giveaway to one of my lucky readers (thanks, Bobbin’s Nest!). You will get 1/4 yard of each of the 15 prints below from Sandi Henderson’s Secret Garden line in the Tea Time colorway.

RULES:
To enter this giveaway you need to be a US RESIDENT only and do TWO things:

1. Go to bobbinsnest.com and SIGN UP TO RECEIVE THE NEWSLETTER. You can do this on any page by using the box at the lower left of the menu, or you can set up an account and opt into the newsletter during the account setup process. You can then shop using the coupon code above! Do you already get the Bobbin’s Nest newsletter? Great! Proceed to step 2!

2. Leave a comment on this post letting me know that you signed up. YOU MUST USE THE SAME E-MAIL ADDRESS that you used for the newsletter signup, otherwise I won’t be able to verify that you signed up.

All entries must be made by midnight Pacific Time on Wednesday, November 9, 2011. I’ll post the winner here next Friday, November 11, as well as notifying the winner privately via e-mail.

Good luck to everyone who enters and good luck to the new Bobbin’s Nest Online Store!!

Quilt Market Socializing

I know in my previous post I acted like I worked worked worked every minute I was at Quilt Market. But I did find a little tiny bit of time to meet some great people in person! Sadly, I didn’t take any photos, so I’ve had to pilfer from some other folks.

I met Jennifer Paganelli and the adorable Carla Crim (the Scientific Seamstress).

Photobucket
Photo from Carla Crim

Seems kind of crazy that the three of us have a mutual friend! Check out Alissa’s photo to see proof that I talked to Carla — that’s the back of my head over on the right next to Carla! And that’s Heather on my left and Amy behind me, Kathy Mack in the center of the photo and the Quilt Dad over her right shoulder!

John the Quilt Dad and I met last year when we both took Heather Ross’s fabric design class at PNCA. It’s nice running into folks again!

I also met long-time blogging friends Alissa, Jacquie, Jessica, Angela, Amy, Amy, Heather, and Melinda.

I’m sure there are others — I know I met other folks from the Fat Quarterly crew, but I’m usually pretty awful with names. And Amanda Murphy, who designs for Robert Kaufman, and on and on and on. I spoke with Sandi Henderson and saw Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry. I even think I might have seen Heather Bailey (if she’s hacked off her hair into a short blonde bob — is that possible?). But looking at everyone else’s pictures I can’t believe all the people I didn’t see, but I definitely was of a single purpose over the weekend, so the designer’s booths just really weren’t on my radar!

The good news is that if I go back to Market again to show my fabric designs, I’ll have a much shorter list of companies that I want to talk with and maybe I’ll have a little more time to check out the kinds of things you all would want to see!

Stay tuned — you may actually see some sewing again on this blog one day!

Quilt Market — Lizzy House

Lizzy House in her Castle at Quilt Market

The other saving grace for me at Quilt Market was the wonderful, fabulous Lizzy House. Her encouragement was what convinced me to attend Quilt Market in the first place. And once there, she provided advice, encouragement, a zen-like booth in which to take a break, and an endless supply of bottled water. I was able to rejuvenate, regroup, revitalize, and hit the show floor for another round of constructive criticism!

Doesn’t her booth look fabulous?? (This is literally the only picture I took the entire time!)

Lizzy is like a little whirlwind — I can’t believe all the things she accomplishes. She is self-publishing a book. And not just an e-book, but a real hardcover book. It will have patterns for four quilts — the three you see hanging in her booth and the one on the lounge — as well as a pattern for the beautiful crewel embroidery pillow in the back left (kind of hard to see in my photo, but it’s a magic lamp.). No crappy filler projects. Just 5 stunning projects with beautiful photography and some really detailed instructions, tables, and illustrations. People, this book is great!

Before the end of Market I managed to snag a couple of Lizzy’s latest goodies for myself. She had these adorable gift packs of her new stationery, journals, and magnets.

Lizzy House Gift Pack

The note card pack contains all three color ways of the Castle Peeps designs.

Lizzy House Note Cards

And check out that monkey magnet! My husband really likes the magnet with the lamp.

Lizzy House Magnets

And here’s something I really love about what Lizzy does. She pays attention to every detail. Even the back of the card with the magnets on it is beautiful! That’s her new colorway of Pearl Bracelet, by the way.

Back of Lizzy House Magnets

And I couldn’t resist the adorable Mini Bard embroidery quilt pattern. Too adorable to pass up.

Lizzy House Bard Mini Quilt

Thank you so much Lizzy, for helping to make my weekend such a fabulous experience!

Quilt Market Wrap-Up

Well, it’s been a whirlwind 6 weeks or so around here, culminating in my trip to International Quilt Market last weekend, where I presented fabric designs to a long list of fabric companies. I know you all are dying to know how it went!

Here’s the brief summary:
1. I am super glad that I went.
2. It was unbelievably educational. I got so much useful feedback my brain hurts.
3. I don’t have a contract for my designs and I’m not likely to get one on the designs I presented this time around.
4. Despite that, I’m encouraged that I have a very good chance at getting a contract in the future if I put more designs together.
5. I met a ton of great people.
6. I didn’t take pictures. Please don’t be mad!

Since I’ve kept you waiting for a long time, I wanted to start off by sharing the fabric lines I presented to the fabric companies. So, without further ado….

The girls’ line, Not So Very Contrary
Not So Very Contrary Fabric Line

A mocked-up quilt using all the girl fabrics
Not So Very Contrary Quilt MockUp

The boys’ line, Boys Will Be Boys
Boys Will Be Boys Fabric Line

A mocked-up quilt using all the boy fabrics
Boys Will Be Boys Quilt MockUp

The Long Version of the Weekend
It was a very long weekend in Salt Lake City. I spent my entire time walking the show floor, checking out the different fabric companies and waiting for an opportunity to get to talk to the Marketing Director/Art Director/Head Stylist at the ones I was interested in. I walked A LOT.

Quilt Market is huge and pretty overwhelming. Everyone there is really working hard. Well, okay perhaps not absolutely everyone (I think you know who you are!). But even those without booths were hitting up fabric companies like I was, promoting a book, talking to distributors about carrying their goods, researching how to set up a booth or market a particular item. A lot of working going on.

Which is why I didn’t get any photos. I really had to keep my wits about me not to get completely distracted by everything and lose focus on what I was really there to do. If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have managed to talk to as many fabric companies as I did.

I want to say this to any of you out there who are interested in designing fabric:

Put together a fabric line. Do the best you can do. Then go to Market.

You will get so much constructive feedback that you would never get by sending in e-mail submissions. I think this really is the key reason to go to Market for a designer. It’s true that presenting your work in person is likely to go over better than digital files. And the fabric companies are interested in getting a feel for you as a person as well — whether they think they could work with you, whether you come off as flighty or difficult. But from your end you will really learn what they like and don’t like about your work (and it will be different for everyone), and you’ll be better able to see what options you have for the future, and you’ll be better able to tell with which companies you and your designs best fit, if you go and talk to them in person. Hands down.

I want to add here that I *hate* (hate hate hate) having to go up to people I don’t know an introduce myself. I have a horrible time at cocktail parties where I know almost no one. And I really dislike having to sell anything, especially myself. But if I can manage to do this *all weekend long*, you can too. Not everyone was super friendly, but no one was mean or nasty. It really wasn’t bad.

I might want to also qualify this by saying that some people really did not hold back on what they thought, and I encouraged them to be completely honest. But having gotten a PhD in science at Yale where people are sometimes downright nasty about telling you how bad they think your work is or how stupid they think you are (don’t even get me started talking about how hard core grad school was), I have a pretty thick skin. So, I wasn’t bothered at all when people told me that they “hate these colors” or that some artwork wasn’t detailed enough or that the fabric lines were okay but weren’t anything special, I took it for the constructive criticism it was intended to be.

That said, all of the commentary was definitely softened by all the complements I received. I was complemented over and over again on my quilts (I had included photos of some in my portfolio). I was told “you must know that you’re very good.” That my quilts are “amazing”, that they are “fine art”, etc. I was told by at least one person that my quilts were the reason they were talking to me. I got asked several times if I was doing patterns for my quilts (yes, by the way, that is next on my list!)

I was told I clearly understood color, and how to put a fabric line together, and that they saw a lot of things they really loved. I included some other art in my portfolio that were not complete fabric lines, and I had people who really loved some of that art, but they couldn’t commit to it until it was more finished. So, I have a great deal of reason to hope for a career in fabric design.

I was also told a lot about how the industry works and about how different fabric companies work. I learned from one company how little fabric designers make (if they picked up the boy and girl lines — which they had no interest in — I could expect to make $1800). I learned that some companies care mostly about the key print for the line, while others need to see the whole package. Some companies have different people that handle computer-generated art (like Illustrator art), while someone else handles hand-done art, and that they don’t do lines that contain both. Just tons and tons of information.

I would like to continue working on fabric design, either for fall market or for next spring market in Kansas City, MO. But I really need to think about what I want the designs to be. In the end, the designs above aren’t really me. I’m not really a cute kids print kind of person, but I started on those for Project Selvage and then didn’t feel like I had time to do something completely new for Quilt Market. I may continue on with some of the other art that I showed at Market (which is why I’m not showing it to you here), because some of that I really liked. Or I may explore more and attempt to create fabric that is more of the aesthetic of my quilts, which got such a fabulous response. I’m not entirely sure how I would do that, so it will definitely take some trial and error, but it would really stretch my brain.

I plan to do another post (or maybe two) to tell you about all the awesome people that I met, but I will leave you with proof that by the end of the day on Sunday at least a little fun was being had. Moda had a free photo booth where you could get your picture taken. Here’s my awesome friend Sarah and I, looking a bit tired after the long weekend.

Sarah was working at a booth at Quilt Market and gave me not only a place to rest and regroup, but tons of great information and even her leftover pizza for lunch. It wouldn’t have been nearly as great a Market without you, Sarah!

Amy and Sarah at the Moda Photo Booth

While I would not consider myself an expert by any stretch of the imagination, I’d be happy to entertain questions that you might have about my experiences at Market.

Oh, and, yes, I did get to talk to Kathy Miller (and she was lovely)!

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