Being a Designer



Sneak Peek, and What is International Quilt Market? Can I come?

Best. Day. EVER! by April Rosenthal of Prairie Grass Patterns for MODA

First off, I posted a sneak peek of MY FABRIC over on Instagram a few weeks ago! I haven’t really mentioned it here, and more details are to come for sure–but for now I will just show you what’s already out there! I can’t wait to show you more. Soon, SOON! (YOU GUYS! I’m designing for MODA!!!!!!!!) <—dream come true.

Pardon the freak out. Back to business. *ahem*

I’ve had a few questions about Quilt Market, and thought I’d throw some information out there for anyone who is curious.

Prairie Grass Patterns Booth at Fall 2013 International Quilt Market

What you need to know about International Quilt Market

Things are ramping up around here, and if you haven’t noticed, basically everywhere in the quilting world. Anyone who is involved in the quilting industry professionally is getting ready for an event that happens twice a year: International Quilt Market. It is a beautiful show full of new products, new fabrics, new patterns, and more. If you’re into quilting, this is basically your mecca. It’s like fashion week, only for quilting. Quilt Market is also where shops get advance precuts and products before their release date, so that they can make shop samples and work with the new fabrics before they ship.

Quilt Market is a Trade Show

That means that all the people exhibiting are showing what they produce to the people who will be selling it. Translation? I go to show my patterns to shop owners, so they will buy them, and sell them in their shop. Fabric companies are there too, to show what fabrics they have coming down the pipeline. Often this means they are showing fabrics that will ship up to 6 months or more from the time of the show. In order to attend Quilt Market you have to have credentials–proof you own a quilting related business and you can qualify for wholesale terms. It is not open to the general public.

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When is Quilt Market?

Fall Quilt Market usually happens the last weekend in October, though in recent years they have tried to avoid having it fall right on Halloween. There are lots of mamas and daddies who want to be with their babies that day. It is always in Houston, Texas.

Spring Quilt Market usually falls the second weekend in May. This show travels around the country, falling in one of 5 locations around the United States on a rotating schedule. This spring, I am traveling to Pittsburgh to exhibit.

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International Quilt Market sounds awesome! Can I come?

I love going to market, even though it is hard to be away from home for that long sometimes. The whole experience is so inspiring! There are so many beautiful things to look at, and admire. When I’m exhibiting, I don’t have as much opportunity as I would like to go see the entire show–but what I do see always impresses. And it’s also exhausting. I’m always ready, when the time comes, to be home.

If you’re a shop owner or employee, and would like to attend market, check out the Quilts, Inc website and get in contact with them about the credentials required. I’d love to see you there!

If you’re a quilt lover who would like to experience market, thank goodness for the internet! Many, many attendees post pictures and blog posts, and show market real time via Instagram. Just check out the hashtag #quiltmarket ! You can follow right along, even tell attendees what you want to see–and we’ll do our best reconnaissance for you! Or, go snag a part-time job with your local quilt shop! If you’re really determined to go, you’ll need the qualifications (and your own check stub!) from a company that has wholesale credentials and purchasing power. After all, this show isn’t just for show, it’s for sales!

Alright kids, I’m back to finishing up writing these new patterns (5 new patterns coming soon!) so I can START SEWING WITH MY VERY OWN FABRIC. (Eeeeeeeek!)

xoxo

April



Doorstep Deliveries

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Exciting things happening here, like lots of boxes being delivered, and a flurry of sewing in my studio. It’s that time of year again! Market preparations have begun, and I have some exciting things up my sleeve. Can’t wait to share! In the meantime, I’m hunkering down and getting things taken care of quickly, quickly!

What are you working on this week?

xoxo

April



Inspiration is everywhere.

Tiles

Yesterday Amy and I talked about inspiration while recording our podcast, it was so fun! I had to take a minute and think about where I came up with various ideas for patterns, and I thought today that I would show you just a few.

The first thing I mentioned as a place I find inspiration is in small collections of objects.

Russian-Rubix

Case in point? Russian Rubix!

RubixTiles

I explain the story behind this pattern in the podcast, go check it out!

concrete

Next place to find inspiration? Architecture! For me specifically concrete and steel detailing. You can see here, this concrete screen was my inspiration for Sweetie Pie.

Sweetie-Pie-Paper-Pattern-Cover

I’ve got about a billion pictures of various architectural details that catch my eye–then, when I have a minute where I need some ideas those pictures help me out a ton.

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Granny Squares by Gracious Rain

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Granny Square Quilt by Blue Elephant Stitches for Moda Bake Shop

I also draw inspiration from other crafting avenues. Knitting, crochet, papercrafting, fashion. I don’t have time to keep up on these hobbies on a regular basis, but I keep Pinterest boards and collect images that just conjure up inspiration. The granny squares that are all the rage? Straight out of crochet. Obviously I’m not the only one drawing inspiration from other crafting venues. :)

DahliaHue

I mentioned also that I get a lot of inspiration from new color palettes. I subscribe to several blogs that create new color collections from images, and it’s always fun to see new combinations that I wouldn’t have put together, but that are BEAUTIFUL. Even if I don’t love the palette, it helps me to see them and understand what isn’t working about those colors for me. A couple of my favorites? Design Seeds, and Photo Card Boutique.

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The last place that I talked about drawing inspiration from was menswear textiles. I have been known to stop men on the street and ask if I can take pictures of their tie, even–that’s me, the crazy tie stalker.

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Really, though, some of the most trendy and lasting patterns are inspired by classic menswear. Houndstooth anyone? Herringbone? How about chevron? All came from timeless wovens.

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He Zigs, She Zags was inspired by a woven pattern.

So that’s my top 5 inspiration places! What inspires you? Have you had a chance to listen to QuiltCast yet? What do you think? Suggestions? Tell me your top 5!

xoxo

April

PS I still remember, New York. Here’s where I was on September 11th, from a post written in 2011.

 



Goals, and Becoming.

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I’ve been missing around here, enjoying the quiet and magic of the holidays, and the potential of a new year. I’ve really been thinking about my goals, and what I want to do, and where I want to go this year. It’s been a lot of thinking and a lot of decision making. I think it must be something us artist-types have to do on a regular basis (probably everyone else, too)–evaluating where our plans are taking us, and trying to evaluate and course correct before we get too far from where our hearts really want us to go.

11-Crocus Over the break, I jumped in and made a Scrappy Tripalong quilt (it’s all the rage on Instagram, just check out hashtag #scrappytripalong, and follow me: amrosenthal–or I’m posting my pictures on my Facebook Page, too)–and as I’ve been working on it, I realized it’s the first quilt I’ve made just for fun, because I want to. Every other quilt I’ve made over the last 10 years has been as a gift, for a deadline, to show a pattern, etc. It was a strange realization. Pair that with the fact that I’m having so much fun making it, and I think I’m on to something. Creativity flourishes when it’s set free. If you’d like to make one, the tutorial is here.

This year, I’m excited to learn more, slow down, develop my personal style, and really marinate and become the person I want to be–do the things I’ve always wanted to do. If not now, when? Each month, I’m setting 5 goals (a la Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project), each month building on the previous. It sounds like a tall order, but when each goal is truly a delight to work on, I think it will be blissful and restorative.

10-Blooming-Pearl I’ve also joined in on a few other things that will help me Become (my One Little Word) who I want to be. I joined in on Fifth and Hazel and Ollibird’s 365 Pattern challenge. I’m creating a repeating pattern every day this year to move me toward one of my goals: cultivating the skills necessary to design fabric. I’m making a schedule and committing to blogging more regularly. (I hope you don’t mind). I’m using Project Life to document these fleeting days, weeks, and months. I’m picking up my Farmer’s Wife blocks again (Posts about these blocks: 1, 2, 3, 4.) I’m decorating my newly remodeled studio–my shelving gets put in Tuesday, and then pictures! I’m eating better, exercising early, and taking my vitamins and supplements (if you’re curious, I’m in love with my doTerra supplements). I’m keeping my family healthy, and enjoying these last few months before my kids start kindergarten. I’m trying to get up the guts to start up the IVF process again. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s a year of nurturing and growth, for sure.

9-Tumblers And in case you think I’m forgetting you, my sweet friends, I’m most definitely not. Many of my goals revolve around sharing tutorials, creating a community, and learning more about my friends. That absolutely means we’re going to have lots of fun this year. Together.

What do you think, friends? Have you done any reevaluating yourself lately? Any creative (or other) goals for the new year? I’d love to hear them. Maybe we can help each other along.

xoxo
April

PS First up? That Block of the Month I hinted about in September. I can’t wait to show you. Who’s in?
PPS My Home for Harvest pattern is being featured on the Fat Quarter Shop’s Jolly Jabber blog today–go suggest a fabric line you’d like to make it in, and you are entered to win a $50 gift card. Score!



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