Back in May I attended my 4th quilt market in Minneapolis, MN. I decided not to have a booth this time around and instead did 2 Schoolhouse lectures, battled my way through Sample Spree and hung out at the Dear Stella booth for a couple days. Shop owners from around the world come to meet industry professionals like me. Did I just say industry professional? Am I grown up now? Anyway…..Pattern designers, fabric companies, notions vendors and so on, all attend. Some are there to show off what’s new. Some are there to find out what’s new. I was there to meet new people and make connections – the best part of market. As a pattern designer I work with fabric companies who send me digital images of new fabric lines that I can then use in EQ7 to create quilts. I send back those images so they can see my vision as well and use them for marketing tools. It’s pretty cool to see a quilt I designed in the latest fabrics and sometimes I even get to make the quilts (see below). When my husband bought me this computer program years ago for Christmas I hardly ever used it. I had no clue how to use and I didn’t feel like taking a class to learn how to use it. I stumbled my way through for a guild project one year and then didn’t touch it again. Until September of 2013 that is. I realized that it was the 1. Cheapest 2. Easiest. 3. Only solution if I really wanted to work with fabric companies ( I don’t do Photoshop or Illustrator). I couldn’t pass up anymore opportunities due to my lack of knowledge and complete laziness! So I gave myself a crash course in EQ one afternoon and made myself figure it out! Now, I’m no expert, and just like all the other programs on my laptop, I’m guessing that I do not use this to its full capacity. But it does what I need it to do.
Sorry, got a little off track there. As I was saying, I meet lots of people at market and get tons of business cards to follow up with later when I get home. Sometimes I meet shop owners who buy my patterns. Other times I meet fellow designers who share my passion for fabric. At this market I had a nice chat with some of the ladies running the Sample Spree Table for Island Batik. They were so nice and the batiks they had were so vibrant and rich – much different from what I thought Island Batik had to offer. When I returned home I contacted them about working together. Now let me just say, sometimes it’s not always this smooth. Sometimes companies are just too busy and inundated with designers to write back. Sometimes they do write back but then your name gets lost in the shuffle and you don’t hear from them again for a while, if at all. It’s a frustrating process but you find who you can work well with and go forward. I sent some designs to Island Batiks and one of the designers love what I did so they asked me to make a sample. This is the BEST part of my job!
Desert Sky is a pattern that I designed last year using some southwest prints from Windham Fabrics. I loved the shape of the blocks and the Arizona-southwest-desert feel but I wanted the quilt to be more versatile as well. Not everyone (especially here on the East coast) is a fan of that look. So I played a bit and realized that just by changing the color placement and mixing up the fabrics I could achieve what I wanted. Duh moment.
Here’s the original design (this is a digital image from EQ7):
And here is the revised coloring (this is a digital image from EQ7):
And just to show you the difference from EQ to real life, here is a pic I took of the finished quilt:
Pretty impressive right? Not my design (I mean I love it) but the fact that EQ can make such realistic quilts on the computer. Technology is a very cool thing that has helped my business in so many ways. Of course I do sit and wonder sometimes about all the opportunities I missed when I didn’t have this program. Yes, that’s what I do.
Below are a few more digital versions of Desert Sky. And if you love the pattern too you can buy it here.
Left is Alison Glass for Andover. Right is Persimmon by Basic Grey for Moda. Below are using Indigo Blues by EBI Fabrics.