Quilt Market 2012 Part 2: The Whole Story

How about a good story today. Yes?

This is the tale of how the OUT TO SEA fabric line came to life at the International Quilt Market in Kansas City, Missouri 2012.

Once upon a time...

(which is how all good stories start!)

I had a dream of a nautical collection for children that was whimsical, classic, fresh, full of children and stories, and seaside daydreams, and I just couldn't get it out of my head.

It had to have all the right parts, and nothing less. Boy fabrics, and girl fabrics...seamlessly coordinating, but still maintaining very distinct color feelings.

I needed to tell the story of children playing pirates, and dreaming of mermaids...and find just the right palette that parents would find beautiful too.

There had to be maps for voyages.

Characters to play the parts.

I needed prints for little tiny projects.

And prints for great big large projects.

I dreamed of making nautical very feminine...

But not letting go of the masculine "ARRRR...." that we all love so much.

I wanted it to be sweet enough for the baby-est of projects

But sophisticated for the ladies to use too.

{Image from here}

It needed to spark new ideas for quilting...

But be JUST the right size to make a statement for apparel as well!

I needed the Navy blue to really shine and not get overpowered by the traditional heavy reds...so I let it coordinate with just the right pinks, blues, greys and oranges to make it a modern and fresh take on a nautical theme.

And it all had to coordinate in just the right way!

 * * * * * * *

But I needed to set the stage.

I wanted people to SEE all the possibilities I saw, and have had for the past 14 months!

I told my husband that I dreamed of a Cape Cod Cottage beach house on the coast...with a children's room full of bunks, porthole windows...and weathered wood walls.

(ahem...in pretend life...not real life, or he would have fainted on the spot:)

I roughed out a (rough!) sketch

Showed him a couple pictures on Pinterest...

And next thing I knew, he was tearing down our (very old, falling over and needing to be replaced) fence.

Little did I know that our backyard could come all the way to market with us, and totally set the stage.

It's the real deal! Leaves still attached and all!

Kenneth built the booth in our (very short) garage...

We packed everything in our minivan and uhaul trailer....

and drove 2 days straight to Kansas City!

But when we got there, we realized that we had built the booth for the wrong corner (I missed the memo that there had been a switch...I have made really silly mistakes in the past, and this is at the top of my list now!) so Kenneth would have to re-wire all the lighting, and rebuild 1/2 of the booth which basically put us about 8 hours behind. Take that with 90+ degree heat and humidity inside the building and two very long 14 hour days setting it up, and we were spent!

But of course, we still had loads of fun. It helps being married to your best friend and construction manager:) http://youtu.be/SEk0RN5bitI

Proof that he forgave me after about 14 minutes of discovering that bad news is in the video. He's a champ.

Thank goodness for both of us being really quick on our feet thinkers. And for a local Home Depot!

{image from here}

I still managed to dash upstairs to all the anxious attendants just antsy to see all the debuts at market. With sawdust in my hair I dashed up to present at Schoolhouse (where you attend classes presented by companies and people showing at market) and then dashed back down to get all in order for the 3 day show.

But the show was a success. At the start of the second day, I turned around to see a committee of people with a big fat ribbon...and I was speechless!

Quilt Market is an amazing show, full of incredible talent. And so when they awarded me with the Creativity Award, I literally burst into tears. It was well deserved after our hiccup and creative problem solving to get it up in time!

But the REAL thanks goes to all the friends who helped me sew up all the projects you see in the booth! I will be sharing LOTS more on that later, but this story....while it started as a very clear idea...sprung into a beautiful project that was so successful because of all the people involved! I can't thank my family and sewers enough!

I'll be sharing more on this later...but each project in the booth was designed for a BLOG TOUR once the fabric is launched August 5th. I'll be featuring each project here (and more!) with links to the respective sewer who will have a Free Tutorial and/or pattern available for you to make your own! Stay tuned in July for that.

So that is the story of how OUT TO SEA fabric by Sarah Jane was created and managed to sailed the across highway 80 to Quilt Market and and back again.

It was an amazing journey, and I plan on doing it again....and again....and again! Ken loves to build sets, and I love to design fabric, so I think we're in this for the long haul.

My next adventure now is to see what you all make with this!! I can't wait to share in all your projects too!

And because all good stories need to end with something funny and sweet, I'll send you off with this darling Narwhal.

(Tutorial coming with him too....can't wait for July!)

The End.

(Oh...I nearly forgot....did you spy embroidery designs? I did. Want to make them? I'll be posting them next week so you can get started! Yay for new embroidery designs!)

(And one last thing...You can see many of these images on my Pinterest Board here. Enjoy!!)