Follow by Email

Apr 20, 2008

An update of show prep


As you know I am prepping for the upcoming spring QUILT MARKET in Portland Oregon, May 08. And the countdown is on. As a designer for WESTMINSTER FREE SPIRIT, fellow designers like Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler have set the standard for lovely award winning booths, displays and more importantly their quilts and sewn finished pieces... How does one compete with astounding Kaffe Fassett quilts? Last year the very talented newcomer, Joel Dewberry was awarded Best New Booth, and I must be immodest and tell you with pride, our lovely booth, Tina Givens, won Best New Exhibitor in Fall of last year. This year, fellow designers including Anna Maria Horner are prepping perfect and colorful and creative displays for their fabric collections... so we're all in this lovely competitive environment vying for shop buyers', licensees, and publishers' attentions. Eeeek. It's all very exciting. Set-up is fun but every one is quietly peeking at each others incoming walls, floor coverings, accessories and of course the quilts and sewn projects... What is truly amazing and to the credit of the big guns at Westminster Fiber, is the fact that we, the designers are all so different. So although we stand with a smile side by side there in some degree of competition, and in the end we smile broadly because we know we are all so different and so uniquely gifted with different ideas and designs and flavor. So one shop can easily buy fabrics from each of us knowing that each will have it's very own personality, none look alike. Publishers can interview and have very unique stories and images for each of us... Friendly competition is a lovely thing! It keeps us on our toes and it serves for a friendly and social environment, because it's also the time we all get together from all parts of the globe and share a drink, a laugh and a sigh of thanks to be together!
Shown above is a small section of a quilt top made for the show in Chloe's Imagination (in Pink Veranda colors).

Gifts & Do What You Love to Do!


So yesterday, late afternoon the kids were playing with their neighborhood pals and I'm sitting pondering new colorways for new collections, and the door bursts open and in come scurrying little feet. My home office is off a hallway between the backdoor and the kitchen. I hear water running, and cupboards opening and closing. Then all is quiet for a moment and then I hear my little boy's voice behind me "Look what I have for you, mom." And he's standing there with a teacup holding his green bouquet for me. What a gift! And how precious, I am so very blessed with these little human beings filled with love and kisses and hugs for their momma. And what's more, they bring me gifts! Now, the bouquet was 'pulled/yanked' from the neighbor's 'about-to-bloom' hydrangea bushes.... but all the same, he brought me flowers....
I thought I'd share....
Actually, of course there's more to this than the gift... I have been wide eyed and a little overwhelmed with the bolts of fabrics surrounding me, my new paper collection with C.R. Gibson about to launch at the National Stationery Show, and me sewing, designing and creating clothing with my own fabrics.... what a pleasure. DOING WHAT I LOVE! Which brings me to something I have been itching to do for a while. I am surrounded by people who tell me, how lucky I am to do what I love. And I thought, well they can do it too. It's a matter of determining what they love, and well, doing it. Taking step by step to make it happen. It may become something in the end they didn't expect to do, but I guarantee they'll be LOVING it. So I have started the outline of a 'how-to-do-what-you-love' diatribe of YOU SHOULD DO IT IF YOU WANT TO. Stay tuned... who knows where the 'diatribe' may go. It's all a journey right?

Apr 8, 2008

Annabella's new colors

Annabella in the 'Rachael' colorway was the first, see below in an older post. These 3 are the new colorways, 1st is called Gabriel, middle one is called Mink and the 3rd is Charleston. Fun and crazy are they not? These are debuting at Spring Market, so when available in shops and online I'll be sure to let you know. And if you're a store... better get em while they're hot! Call your fabulous rep right away!

Apr 6, 2008

Chloe Madness!

Last Thursday I was out and about with the kids when the studio called to tell me two large boxes had arrived loaded with fabric... We dropped everything, and scrambled off to see the finished bolts....
"It's CHLOE's IMAGINATION"... I screeched...
Going through the design process, from inception, through reviews of swatches we call 'strike-offs', final approvals and then into production has taken almost 5 months... It was a smooth one too, just 3 rounds... I am never quite sure about when the final bolts will arrive (I know within a week or two or so when they call) so when they do it's a surprise. Anxious, because I know that's when all heck breaks lose and the extreme madness of production begins... All prep work has been basically done ( I am never finished, always a new idea lurking in my sleepless head)... so now we have the fabric... and just 6 weeks to show time! Ahhhh...
Then I had to decide which I'd take home to the home based studio where we can start chopping and cutting and sort into quilt, apparel, toys, home products and other crazy miscellaneous stuff I love to prepare for market.... each gets bins for project work and then shuttled off to miscellaneous and talented cutters, sewers and quilters. Me being the designer, chief cutter, pattern grader and head seamstress.... oh and iron-mistress.
Are you getting the idea? My home and home studio are filled with fabric, people, children... and me! I take up a lot of space emotionally, creatively and well in every way! So my children and Kevin are so very involved in putting up with me. I run around like a mad woman with some piece of fabric, pattern or tool in my hand. I bathe the kids with the blackberry in one hand... well I'm not that bad, but almost. Kevin has been cook this weekend... Mellie models for me... she loves it. She sits with me at the machines and passes me scissors, pins and drives me batty most of the time, and I love it.
It has truly been a nutty weekend. We're talking about 40 x twenty yard bolts...

Well so far, the quilts are well underway... wait till you see them. I have seen one completed top in the lavender and chocolate colorway (Fairyland Coco) in a quilt called THE PLACE SETTING... Patterns will be available at market and through your local stores... Keep posted for where to purchase them. On the blog find the posted quilt pattern called SLEEPY AFTERNOON to give you a small taste.... We'll have this quilt on display at the Free Spirit Booth. It's a beaut! We used the gold and tangerine color way I called 'Marigold Palace'. Check it out.

This show I have many more quilts... I'm calling them the QUINTESSENTIAL QUILTS. They are accessible, moderately easy, and striking quilt patterns. For a start in the actual quilting world (which I am new to) I wanted to start simple, easy but catchy... so they mischieviously don't look easy but, believe me, they are! You may watch me grow as a quilt pattern designer over time, but for once in my life I am taking that slow. I am completely in awe of quilt designers... and quilters. Ahh, Kaffe Fassett & Lisa Prior Lucy - unbelievable, Denyse Schmidt is a goddess (www.dsquilts.com), and what about Carol Taylor (www.caroltaylorquilts.com)... she's a genius... I digress...

So quilts are underway.... patterns are in motion (print production), clothing, hats and toys are in production... and wowee... I had time to play. So I started with an old love of mine... MILLINERY. I love hat making! While in Cleveland I took classes from an eccentric and lovely man called Dennis... who was with Balenciaga in NY in his early years... A fabulous personality who inspired me at a time of soul searching...
It's funny how things we do in past lives (within our life) come back to us.... So breaking out the millinery bits and pieces, my old patterns, a block (to look at for inspiration)... I crafted a few fabric hats. Kevin, who has seen press and the fabulous picture of the perfect Amy Butler in her sun hat laughed at me. He said it's ahhh, not quite like Amy is it Tina? Here's my version!
Oh and Mellie had to join in! Here she is in a fab top hat I call Metro-Topper. Mellie is a ham, just like her ma! The hat I am wearing is called TRILBY... I used 'Cade's Garden', lined and under brim in 'Fortiny'. Mel's topper is in same Fortiny but lined in Heaven - all from Marigold Palace colors... Divine! Don't know if they will make the cut but they were awesome to make... I also created a sweet little bird cage and crazy bird inside (all out of the fabrics), and an owl who is simply just charming... Take a look! I am having way too much fun... The owl's fat belly is in a fabric from the collection called TRELLIS and it's gorgeous... when you see it's vine-ey pattern weaving its way through a quilt block it's truly something... Well, just a few items for you to see... more hats and clothing are underway. And all fodder for the book I am about to begin... so enjoy and let me know what else you'd like to see! MY best, T