Thursday, October 30, 2008

Hot off the Market floor...

Thanks so much for your sweet comments! I am just thrilled about the positive reception of Andalucia!!!

I received so many compliments & inquiries on the purses that my mom made for the show, that we've decided to list them on Etsy so that you too may have a chance at getting one! I just finished helping my mom list 5 Market purses on etsy, so below is the info. Two of them are ready-made and the other ones will be custom. Click on the picture to see the etsy listing:

This first one is the purse she made for Paula Prass:

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The following ones are the 4 she made for me to take to Quilt Market:

flora-1

jester-1

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And she is even offering to remake this amazing hand-beaded purse she made especially for me (I got so many compliments on this one!) Don't even ask about getting the sample... I am keeping it! mine, mine, mine ;)

beaded-1

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Market Report - Part 1
Fall International Quilt Market 2008, Houston, TX

Hi everyone! I'm baaaaack! Last time I tackled Market Report in one fell swoop (a.k.a. one ginormous blog posting that left you and I both exhausted!) So this time I've decided to save my sanity and break this up into parts... not necessarily in chronological order, just so you know.

Quilt Market was everything I expected and more. We drove 16 hrs. there and 16 hrs. back (well, Jon drove. I mostly slept, twittered, googled and doodled). Those of you following me on Twitter got the full state-by-state report... even when I called Arkansas "AK" instead of "AR." I can't believe no one teased me about that one! I can take it, I really can! ;)

So, for those of you who are new to my blog, we went down to the International Quilt Market in Houston, TX to debut my first line of fabrics, titled Andalucia, for Michael Miller Fabrics. Below, are a few scattered pictures of my booth and the surrounding areas...

This first picture shows the view from the aisle directly in front of us. On the left you see part of my booth, on the right you see part of Paula Prass' booth. Directly behind Paula's booth you see a sliver of Sandi Henderson's booth and the remainder of this picture shows what Michael Miller's selling stations looked like.

booths-panoramic

Below is a picture of Kathy Miller (Michael Miller Fabrics) and me standing at my booth. Check out the awesome quilts made specifically to showcase Andalucia by some amazingly talented ladies. The one on the left is called Now & Forever and was designed by Abbey Lane Quilts. The one on the right is called Spring Up and was designed by Lizzy Anne Originals. You can also see the 2 chairs that I painstakingly upholstered just days before the show and a few other sewn samples...

patty-young-and-kathy-miller

Here is a full shot of Spring Up:

lizzy-anne-quilt

This picture shows a few Market goodies including a couple of purses by my talented mom (a.k.a. marielizcreations on etsy), some super sweet bibs by Bug-A-Boo-Baby (check out her blog for some detailed pics of these and of the baby blankies she made for the booth!), and a pillow and dress by yours truly. By the way, my mom will be offering her Market-Sample-Purses in her etsy store very soon, so keep checking for these!

green-flora-purse

A super cool pineapple pincushion by my talented friend, Eva Taylor. Check out her blog and leave her a comment to be entered to win a pineapple of your own! How generous is that?!?

evas-pineapple

Totally AWESOME Andalucia jacquard ribbons designed by me for J. Caroline Creative (these are only 8 of the 16 designs offered!) Wish you guys could see & touch these! They are super soft and the quality is unsurpassed. These ribbons totally stole the show, IMO! Caroline will have these in her shop soon, so keep checking!

andalucia-ribbon

And speaking of Caroline, here I am standing in her AWESOME booth, which, by the way, won a prize of Best New Exhibitor. Way to go, Caroline!!!

patty-with-ribbon

And last, but certainly not least, is this picture of me sitting in my booth chatting it up with one of the loveliest ladies I've ever had the pleasure of meeting, the vibrant and so inspirational Elinor Peace Bailey.

patty-and-elinor

Now, I want to leave you with a few links to check out:

  • I did a designer interview with Gina Halladay of Quilter's Buzz. What a lovely lady! Go over there and read! (those of you who attended my schoolhouse session may notice some overlap... sorry!)

  • Boutique CafĂ© created history with the first ever live podcast from Quilt Market and I was honored to be their guinea pig, er, first interviewee! ;) You can catch a recording of the live feed right here... complete with testing, bloopers and a heck of a lot of giggling!

  • The Jolly Jabber, Fat Quarter Shop's awesome blog, is doing a day-by-day Market Report that is not to be missed. One of the best pictures of me has already surfaced in their "findings" and check out this one I spotted on their Flickr account of me & Jon. Awww! Please stay tuned for a full interview in a couple of weeks! I'll let you know when it's up!!!

OK, that's it for now! Thanks for being so patient through this super long post... I swear I thought it was gonna be much shorter! And to all of you lovely ladies who came over and saw me at Quilt Market, MWAH! Love ya!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Market Prep, Part 9... Houston or Bust!
odds and ends...

So, this is it! In just a few hours Jon and I will embark on a 16-hour journey towards Fall Quilt Market... fun, fun, fun! It's been a crazy past few days, er, weeks. But I wouldn't trade it for the world!

This past weekend we went out of town to attend my brother-in-law's wedding, which was tons of fun for the whole family and a great distraction from all the stress I've been under lately. The ceremony was beautiful! Sophie, Sydney and Jon were part of the wedding party while I played photographer (hence, no photos of me.) Then I got a huge surprise when we headed up to the reception. The dinner was in this gorgeous old Spanish restaurant and guess what the name of the room was???

But now it's back to business. Before I leave I wanted to post a few important Quilt Market-related facts for those of you who will attend.

Come visit me and see Andalucia in all it's splendor at BOOTH # 421

Don't miss our schoolhouse sessions:
4:50 - 5:20 -- Room #362D - Kathy Miller - Marketing in a fast changing world

5:25 - 5:55 -- (same room as above) Sandy Henderson, Paula Prass and Patty Young -- Show and tell

Also, don't forget to visit Caroline from J. Caroline Creative, at Booth # 116, who will be exhibiting my debut line of jacquard ribbons that perfectly coordinate with Andalucia... here is a sneak peek... (there will be 16 designs total!)

ribbons1

Here are a few other fun little projects for ya...

Sweet Andalucia yoyo headbands by Jenn of Take A Bow: (photo courtesy of Jenn)

headbands

Gorgeous Andalucia charm necklace by Erin of the_vintage_pearl: (photo courtesy of Erin)
necklace

necklace2

Some funky covered buttons (by yours truly) for a secret project... ;)
buttons

Sorry I didn't get a chance to shoot the furniture or the other gorgeous purses my mom made for the show. We were working into the wee hours of the morning and the natural light escaped us. Well, I promise to take plenty of pictures at the show and share here shortly after I return.

OH, and before I forget, if you Flickr, please join my Andalucia Flickr Group. I'd love to see what you guys make with the fabric!!! (all of you wonderful, talented sample sewers... please add your photos to the pool... I want them to come from you, even if I have them on my Flickr account too! ;))

Later!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Market Prep, Part 8.
Quilts, Quilts, QUILTS!

quilt6

First of all, thanks so much for all your help in deciding which 2 of the 4 dresses to bring to Quilt Market and which 2 to send to the L.A. Textile Show. The race was close at first but by the end, the winners were pretty clear. I am bringing .... drum roll, please ... #1 and #3 with me to Houston and #2 and #4 are already boxed up and on their way to MMF. Phew! Glad that part's over!

But now onto something that I have been waiting for just as long as you all have... THE QUILTS! I had the absolute pleasure of working with 2 very talented quilters that were not just amazingly creative but also fun, easy going and professional to the max.

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Elizabeth Cramer created this amazing quilt you see up there and to the left. It features a Mod Blooms design on the left side and a Flora design on the right. The appliques are done "rag style" so it is super soft and cozy. This quilt is HUGE... it measures 70" wide by 100" high so it would be big enough to cover a child's bed or just to hang on the wall as artwork. Elizabeth will be offering the pattern for this quilt at my booth at Quilt Market, so if you will be attending, please stop by and check out this fabulous quilt and maybe get yourself a pattern. And before I forget, go check out Elizabeth's blog where she has documented the whole quilting process from the minute she received the fabric, through making a "practice quilt", which, by the way, she is giving away to a lucky winner!

Next up, I had the pleasure of meeting Marcea Owen at the Spring Quilt Market in Portland and we connected soon after to talk about quilts, quilts quilts! She is one part of the dynamic duo they call Abbey Lane Quilts, based in my old stomping grounds, Central Florida. Janice, her partner in crime, is one talented lady for I hear she pieced and quilted this Earth quilt all by herself. Isn't this AMAZING!

quilt3

This quilt features one of my favorite prints... Birdie Damask and it is complemented so nicely by Moorish Tile, Jester and Tiny Flower. I just adore looking at it and can't even imagine how long it would take to piece something like this together... my head spins just thinking about it!

quilt1

Marcea and Janice also created the most darling lap quilt which they've nicknamed, MISS MOLLY. This sweet little quilt, measuring at 44" x 56", features the Mod Blooms design. While the background was done in a traditional quilting method, the flowers and leaves were put on with a method called raw edge applique. Oh, and check out this close up... I absolutely adore that the quilting is in shapes of miniature "mod blooms"... how clever! (click on the picture to super-size it and check out the quilting on it!)

Abbey Lane Quilts will also be selling the patterns for both these quilts at Quilt Market next week. The quilts will display at my booth, so please come by to check them out! Also, check out Abbey Lane's blog where they have also been documenting the quilting process all along.

I am so lucky to have paired up with these amazingly talented ladies! Thanks so much, Elizabeth, Marcea and Janice. See you all next week!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Market Prep, Part 7.
Girls' Clothing

You guys were such big help last time I asked you for advice that I've decided to use your expertise once again... hope you don't mind. OK, so I was going to make 2 outfits to display on my brand new dress forms, Sara & Walleena, but then Michael Miller asked me to make 2 extra outfits for them to take to the L.A. Textile Show (which just happens to overlap Quilt Market by a day or so).

So, here's my dilemma: I've made my 4 outfits (as a matter of fact I just finished the last one about a half-hour ago, took pictures, edited them and now I'm here blogging away!), but I just cannot decide which 2 to keep for my booth in Houston and which 2 to send to MMF for their L.A. show.

Can you guys help me decide? Here are the choices:

1. Jumper-style A-line dress with Mod Blooms appliques on the front skirt panel:

andalucia-dress1

2. Euro jumper showcasing Flora in Petal colorway with a full underdress of Tiny Dots in Paprika:

andalucia-dress2

3. Long sleeve tunic-style dress with a fully-lined hood, contrast sleeve cuffs, stripwork skirt and a Flora applique on the chest:

andalucia-dress3

4. Peasant-style tiered twirl dress with shirring on sleeves & neckline and a removable & reversible gathered apron:

andalucia-dress4

I'd appreciate any suggestions. I just can't decide on my own cause I've been stuck in my basement like a hermit sewing for days and my brain is mush!

OH, and the pictures of quilts are coming SOON! Just waiting on the 3rd one to make it's appearance in my inbox, but in the meantime, go check out Elizabeth Cranmer's AMAZING Quilt Giveaway (hint: this is what her Andalucia quilt will look like, but in Andalucia fabrics, of course! LOL!)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Market Prep, Part 6.
Help came when most needed...
Sisters function as safety nets in a chaotic world simply by being there for each other.
~Carol Saline

My dear sister, Caty, came over yesterday to put order in this chaotic life of mine, so that quote above seemed quite fitting. Yes, surprisingly enough not everything in my household looks as pretty and orderly as the pictures from my last post, which, by the way, thanks so much for all your kind words. Your support means so much to me and I am so thankful to have such an amazing circle of friends to help me make the best showing of Andalucia possible!

But, getting back to Caty...ohmygoodness, where do I begin? She washed, dried and put away every last stitch of clothing in our house... even the bed linens and towels. Anyone who knows
me knows how much I despise laundry. I'd much rather clean toilets than fold & put away clothes... really! So, Caty came to my rescue when I most needed it, filling in the gaps while I sewed and upholstered around the clock!


Not only did she do all my laundry but she also organized the kids closets, which is something I just hadn't gotten to in so long. I'll have to take a picture of Sydney's closet for all of you to see. It looks like a boutique display in there... all pieces are neatly hung and organized in an orderly manner, not spilling out of laundry baskets or piled up in a corner of the room, LOL!

And in between loads of laundry she helped me with some much needed Market Prep busy work. She finished collating & stuffing the remainder of my 500 Greeting Cards and assembled the remaining of my 400 bookmarks... with a little help from my assistant, of course (an assistant for my assistant).


When I was scouring the internet looking for the perfect "sister quote" to put at the top of this posting (something fitting but not too corny) I came across these funny ones that just totally describe our relationship:

Sisters never quite forgive each other for what happened when they were five. ~Pam Brown

You can kid the world. But not your sister. ~Charlotte Gray

A sister smiles when one tells one's stories - for she knows where the decoration has been added. ~Chris Montaigne

If your sister is in a tearing hurry to go out and cannot catch your eye, she's wearing your best sweater. ~Pam Brown

Caty, I cannot thank you enough for what you did for me these past couple of days! The house looks amazing and I am this much closer to having everything ready for my Market debut. THANKS, SIS!!! LOVE YA!!!!

Oh, and I haven't forgotten that I promised to share some wonderful quilts from my talented sample sewers and some upholstered chairs and other miscellaneous sewing projects by yours truly. All that is coming... very soon! Patience, my friends. I am working around the clock here but hope it will all pay off soon! :)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Market Prep, Part 5
Sample sewers

Today's post will be brief on words but filled to the brim with wonderful imagery. I'm sure you won't complain. I want to share the amazingly gorgeous items I've been receiving from my talented sample sewers. Words cannot describe the feeling I get every time I open a package from these ladies...

Handmade purse by Marieliz Creations (a.k.a. "mom"). This purse is amazing!! I have her original version made with Amy Butler's Nigella fabrics (as do at least half-a-dozen others, from the look of her Etsy "sold items" screen, LOL!) but now I have one made with Andalucia and am beside myself with joy. It's so gorgeous!! Just see for yourself. And don't forget to check out her etsy store for lots of handmade pretties.

andalucia-purse1

Jingle bell fabric play balls by Heather Kaeb, polkadottotspot. So fun and playful and she was able to use all 24 fabric prints! WOOHOO! Thanks so much, Heather, I just adore them. Check out Heather's etsy store.

andalucia-balls

Super adorable matrioshka doll with her own babushka in her pocket (OK, after writing this post I realized I totally butchered the spelling and meaning of these words but hey, you get my drift...) by Kristen Hallagan, gocksfrocks. I'm sure most of you guys already know Kristen and her talent. Here's a link to Kristen's etsy store.

matrioshka

Will Sophie be able to part with it long enough to take it to Quilt Market & back? That remains to be seen...

matrioshka2

Kristen also made this cutie weiner dog...

dog

Myrinda, of Fabric Hound, made Candy her own little Andalucia kimono and she looks oh, so fabulous in it!

kimono

I had fun pairing up all the "pinks" for a girlie shoot in Sydney's bedroom...

pink-nursey-elephant

Elephant by Kristen of gocksfrocks, Cube & Ball by Heather of thepolkadottotspot, Pillows by Patty Young

Oh, and I have to share this picture cause I think it's pretty funny (well, I find these kinds of things rather humorous... hope you do too!).

Concept pillow is on the right, real sewn pillow on the left:

real-vs-fake

Stay tuned! In the next couple of days I will be sharing sneak peeks of some of the most amazing quilts I've ever seen. You'll be blown away!!! I've also been keeping myself busy sewing outfits and upholstering chairs for my Quilt Market booth. I'll share those soon too. :)

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Toothless grin

Sophie lost her first baby tooth today. She had been feeling quite left out and sad because she was the last of her friends still left with a mouthful of teeth. Well, tomorrow at school she can finally join the league of the toothless grins.

My baby's growing up...sniff, sniff.

tooth1

Luckily she's still young and innocent enough to believe in fairies...

tooth2

The day that comes to an end, I believe, will be a sad one for me.


***UPDATE*** Sophie got up this morning, checked under her pillow and grabbed the envelope then checked around some more. I asked what she was looking for and asked if the Tooth Fairy paid a visit. She said a very feeble "Yesss..." and had a tiny frown. I asked what was wrong and she said "Nothing". She opened the envelope and smiled when she showed me the cotents. I congratulated her, went downstairs. Next thing yo know Jon comes to me saying that Sophie is crying and super sad because she misses her tooth. Wishes she could "look at it and keep it and now it's gone FOREVER."

UGH! I am such a novice at all this!! What do I do? If I show her the pretty place where I kept her tooth in hopes of having a collection I could show her when she got older, I will kill the Tooth Fairy fantasy. She lives for this stuff! :( Dilemma, dilemma, dilemma...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Winners!!

I feel like a winner today in so many ways. I went to the doctor this morning. It was my 2-week follow-up after that yucky procedure I had done (why do they make you wait so long to find out if you're dying or not?). Well, I've been given a clean bill of health. The results were negative (negative in a good way, not like that Seinfeld episode where George thought he was dying because he got "negative" test results! LOL!!) So, that's a relief! No more worrying... well, at least about my health. :)

But I also feel like a winner today because I have such great friends in the blogging community to help me with silly things like picking out a photo of myself that doesn't look like I'm birthing a fabric ball. ;) See! I knew I could count on you guys!

75 of you voted (WOW! I'm pretty sure that's my record so far!) and I received a few other votes via email & phone (since my family was voting right along with you guys). I tallied all the votes. I couldn't figure out a speedier way than the good ol' fashioned way... (yes, I know, I'm so high-tech!)


...and it looks like picture #4 of Sydney and picture #12 of me are the clear winners... with over a 10-vote lead on the runner-ups. :) YAY! Those were my favorites too, so they are both going into the brochure! Thanks so much for your help, everyone!!! (P.S. I also added a little cameo of #8 in the brochure, just because it was another favorite of mine and it got quite a few votes from you guys.)

And speaking of winners, I said that I would pick a lucky winner from the comments left on my blog, so I used the randomizer to get this nifty little list and it looks like #50 is at the top. Comment #50 belongs to Helen of missyluluboutique. Congrats, Helen! Please email me at info@modkidboutique.com to claim your prize.



I love that most of you really got into it and gave me some specific reasons why you love your picture choices. You talked about color, composition, product positioning, lighting, etc. and coming from the marketing industry these terms really speak to me. I've spent the past 15 years dealing with these issues and striving to create marketing materials that have great visual appeal, so I am glad to see all of you out there have an interest in more than just "pretty pictures." :)

So now that I have everyone's attention I want to address some Frequently Asked Questions. Normally when I get questions on my blog I try to address them immediately, either by direct email or by posting a reply on my blog, but lately I've just been swamped so I hope those of you who have asked these questions will visit again and read this.

My #1 FAQ:
  1. When will your fabrics be available for purchase in stores?
    Andalucia officially debuts at Fall Quilt Market, October 25-27. Most fabric stores will be placing their orders during the show and it typically takes a few weeks (6 or so, I think) for the fabrics to arrive. However, a few stores have already placed their pre-orders so they will be receiving their fabrics sooner than the rest. You can see 11 of my 24 designs up right now at Hancocks of Paducah and even place your own pre-order. I also know that Fat Quarter Shop has placed their pre-order but all they have right now up is a MM Fat Quarter Club, in which Andalucia has the December spot.

  2. How can I place a wholesale order for Andalucia?
    Please contact Michael Miller Fabrics directly at info@michaelmillerfabrics.com, T:212.704.0774, F: 212.633.0272. I have the color cards ready so if you need one to place your order just contact me.

  3. I'd love to sew samples for you for Quilt Market. Do you need any more sample sewers?
    Thank you so much for your offers, everyone. I am truly flattered and honored. Unfortunately, I do not need any more samples at this moment. We leave for Quilt Market in less than 3 weeks so all the fabric has already been distributed among my sample sewers and what I have left here is what I'll be using for my own sewn samples. I will keep you all in mind for my next fabric debut in the Spring of 2009... more on that later! ;)

  4. Where did you buy those dress forms?
    I purchased those adorable dress forms (Sara and Walleena) from a display company in CA called, Skyline Display. They have an eBay store, but you can also reach the owner, Peter Moon directly via email at skylinedisplay@yahoo.com or by phone at 213-792-3538 . They are great to work with and ship super fast. I love my dress forms!

I hope I've answered all your questions. If you have any more, please just leave them in the comments section and I will try to do another Q&A session soon. :)

Next up... a show & tell from my sample sewers! Beautiful stuff, check back in a day or two...