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We're honored to be asked to guest blog again on the Jolly Jabber! The Fat Quarter Shop continues to be one of our favorite sites to visit.
For this post, my husband Audie and I thought it would be fun to share with all of you our experience on what it’s like to attend International Quilt Markets, which are held twice a year. In addition, we are hoping to give you a "feel" for the energy and excitement associated with being introduced to new products and receiving FREE products! So fasten your seat belts and let's have some fun!
When we began attending Market several years ago, I didn’t realize the designers that I’ve admired for years would be there, in-person, and very, very accessible! I’m not quite sure what I was expecting…but I can tell you, it wasn’t that! It was unbelievable to me that we could talk with the industry's top designers, such as Anne Sutton, Brenda Riddle, Barb & Alma, and so many others that have all been featured in best-selling publications, worldwide media and right here on The Jolly Jabber! I was completely overwhelmed as, booth after booth, we discovered "industry icons" to our left and right. And to those of you who know me, you know I immediately sent my oh-so timid husband Audie (NOT!) over to talk with the designers/companies/wholesalers and introduce Artful Offerings until I could muster up the courage to meet them myself. Did I mention that Audie’s middle name is "Networking"?! He LOVES networking!
In addition to meeting the individual designers, we get a first-hand look at companies that fill their booths with "hot-off-the-press" books, patterns, fabrics, notions, industry materials and every piece of sewing and quilting equipment you can think of! The company reps are so friendly and they can’t wait to tell you all about their products with live demonstrations and handouts. There is always something new at Market and it can be overwhelming, but for us, Market has become even more special as it affords us the great opportunity to get together and catch up with the dear friends we have made over the years.
This latest Market was extra special as it was the first time I had the opportunity to design a quilt to be featured by a major fabric company. I was asked by Lecien Fabrics to design a quilt for their booth featuring fabrics from their Fall 2009 line, Mrs. March’s Collection. I chose to do a colorful table topper, very flexible in that by adding additional blocks one can easily turn it into a lap or bed quilt of any size. An additional treat was creating marketing handouts! This included making the samples, photographing them, pattern-smithing, design and layout…We had soooo much fun!
One of the benefits of attending Quilt Market is that they are able to peruse the booths and receive free samples and gifts from the vendors. As part of the Quilt Market experience of collecting "hot-off-the-press" goodies, we are happy to share this "freebie experience" with all of you! Please enjoy this FREE pattern download of Mrs. March’s Hot Cross Buns Quilted Table Topper.
Now I’m very excited to introduce all of you to our 5 newest patterns that were featured in the Moda United Notions and Lecien booths this past Market. The following 4 patterns use the stop-me-in-my-tracks-gorgeous Rouenneries by French General for Moda Fabrics:
1. The "To Market, To Market" pattern is a reusable shopping tote that includes 2 sizes and features 2 design possibilities, a cross stitched "Market" patch or a covered buttons version. This design mixes beautiful jelly roll strips with a sturdy light-weight linen lining to make a truly usable tote for all your shopping needs. Here's the freebie! Our directions for a beautiful fabric alternative, using Celebration, can be downloaded for FREE.
2. The "C’est Chic Bags" are chic & easy to make! The pattern includes two bag sizes with 3 band style options…a classic design just blooming with possibilities. The band design options include Simply Plain Linen, Leaves & Berries Stitchery, or an optional "Tattered Blossom"…and guess what? The blossom is made using 1 jelly roll strip and 1 button. Here's the freebie! Our Tattered Blossom directions can be downloaded for FREE.
3. The "Relay Runners" pattern includes 3 quick and stylish runners and begs the question "Which one will YOU finish first?" These runners offer 3 great ways to use pre-cut fabrics, Charms, Jelly Rolls and Layer Cakes! While the runners can be finished with traditional bindings, I hope you try my designer binding, which is featured on the short ends of each runner. The designer binding sandwiches a trim such as rick rack, lace or a ruffle in the binding for a fun, easy and beautiful finishing touch. The detailed directions for my designer binding are included!
4. The "Patchwork Passion" pattern is…Oooooh la la! If you are passionate about patchwork, you will LOVE this sweet duo! Easy patch construction & quilting makes this timeless style a great Mommy & Me project!
5. Our fifth and final pattern uses the classic, clean and fresh-look of Authentic! The "Handle This!" pattern is 1 great tote with 3 easy handle styles. All handle styles are included in the pattern, and believe us, you CAN "handle" all this fun and style! I just love the newsprint, numbers, polka dots and stripes. This fabric executes the designs brilliantly using one of my favorite color palettes of lime green, black, white, beige with hints of gray!
In summary, Quilt Market is an unparalleled experience when it comes to awareness, inspiration and networking. Preparation for this Market was extra fun for me for two reasons: 1. It took me back to my stitchery roots and 2. We were able to spread our digital designer wings! We are already working on designs for Spring Market 2010. We intend to introduce a greater variety of home dec designs and personal accessories with stitchery embellishments.
Audie and I hope that you have gained a new perspective and enjoyed our take on attending Quilt Markets. We hope you like our patterns as much as we enjoy designing them.
Please check out the FREE patterns page on our website at www.Artful-Offerings.com for some additional designs. Our website also keeps up to date with our newest offerings and details of the complete Artful Offerings’ pattern portfolio. Please feel free to contact us through any of the website email links or directly at ArtfulOfferings@aol.com with questions, comments, or suggestions. Thanks so much for the opportunity to connect with you via the Jolly Jabber blog. Please stay in touch…
Karina (and Audie too!) of Artful Offerings