Back to the Future

Greetings friends & neighbors…

I start so many of my newsletters and other notes that way, who knows why really, I don't think that any of my neighbors read my blog… although on the other hand, perhaps I have a secret neighborhood following? Ha! My neighbors have absolutely no idea what it is I do up here until all hours of the night. In fact Eric and I have a long standing joke that they must think that all sorts of hinky things are happening in this household… let me tell you a little story…

Back in the day when we did all of our own flat quilt photography [we now out source that difficult job to the wonderful folks at C & T publishing since they do a great job and happen to be located just a few minutes away from our studio, convenient huh?], Eric and I would go through all sorts of machinations in order to get a flat, straight shot of our quilts during an uninterrupted time of the day. Well, to make a very long story short, the only time and way to do that in our house was on the living room floor, with all of the furniture moved out of the way, from an 8 ft. ladder, in the middle of the night.  To properly set the scene, I need to add that we have no curtains in our living room, that it was summer and that it was often hard and tiring work so we wore as little as possible, that we didn't have the appropriate "hot lights" to do this at night & thus used our floor lamps with maximum wattage & the shades taken off and that you could see straight into our living room from the sidewalk in front of our house. 
So picture this shot as seen from the sidewalk… It's 1:00 am on a hot California summer night, Joanna on the ladder with a big fancy looking camera in shorts and a tank top, Eric standing next to her with nothing but shorts on, hovering as close as he could holding a floor lamp with both arms in mid air to get good lighting, taking pictures of some mysterious item that could not be seen from the street…. WHAT WOULD YOU THINK WAS GOING ON???

Anyway, totally got side tracked there….

Hope you all had a great 4th of July weekend!  We had a couple of wonderful weekends in the past few weeks with family at our favorite river getaway and just hanging out, relaxing by the pool. Wow, it had been a long time since I had done that 2 weekends in a row! 

As I sat down to write, one of my office gals reminded me that I had never really finished posting all the "goings on" at Spring Market. I know, I know, but it just seems SO late now to do it. But here goes the VERY LAST OF MY SPRING MARKET WRAP UPS…. until I remember something else in a month of so!


Book Signing

We had a wonderful book signing organized by our publisher Martingale & the wonderful Ms. Outlaw at United Notions, for my latest book, Fresh Vintage Sewing. We ran out of books in about 15 minutes which they said was the going record! Great for me, not so great for all the wonderful fans who were still in line when the books ran out! They were very gracious, though, and let me sign bookplates that they could then attach to books that they got elsewhere. Thank you to all the ladies who waited so patiently!

Tweet Up
We had a really fun impromptu meeting, initiated by April, where all of us designers and other "fabric-aholics" who "tweet" met up at a preset time at the MODA booths one morning. Now I just have to tell you how funny it is to see and meet in many cases for the first time, a few dozen people who you correspond with on a somewhat regular basis but have never actually met! It was quite amusing to have everyone walk around staring at the nametags on each other's chests instead of our faces as we tried to figure out who everyone was. In no particular order and probably missing at least several names [sorry ladies, I am SO bad with names], we were: April Cornell, Miranda Dixon from Fabric Hound, Bari from Bari J., Genevieve Gail from Windham,a friend from True Up whose name I completely forgot!, Sandi Henderson of Portobello Pixie, Patty Young of MODKID, Jona from Fabritopia, Kristen from Gock's Frocks, Jocelyn from the Fat Quarter Shop, Paula Prass from Michael Miller, Jean Morrison from Free Spirit. We were later joined by Jennifer Paganelli of Sis Boom & a few others as well. It was fun to put a face with a name ladies… well, at least kind of put a face with a name!

A Bit of Recognition
Every year at Quilt Market, the wonderful folks at Quilts, Inc. peruse, explore and wander the show floor and choose first & second place awards for single, double, multiple booths and best new exhibitor. Sometimes they decide to also award creativity & merchandising awards as overall market awards. Well, as we have been informed several times before, since we are a 1 1/2 booth space we are not eligible for any of the regular booth awards. We figured that was just fine by us as we have enough things to think about during Market! We never considered being considered for one of the overall awards…

Well, this year as Karey, [ the show creator & president] stopped in front of my booth on her infamous scooter [this is how she has gotten around the show for years and everyone knows she is coming when they see it arriving down the aisle… she is a bit like fabric royalty… we all get out of her way and feel a bit of the urge to bow when we see her] with something in her hand, I felt my stomach fall. I have to admit to you… that I totally thought I was in some kind of trouble! As I walked quickly over to my booth [since I was over at Camille's talking instead of working], all I kept thinking about was, oh —-, what did I do wrong, did I not follow a rule, did I take off my shoes again? 
Anyway, instead of getting in trouble we received the Merchandising Award which she told us was given to a vendor who went above and beyond in the display, layout and presentation of their product. Thank you Karey again, just in case you are reading. I was and am very honored.

Schoolhouse Presentation
As we do every year, Eric & I taught a 1/2 hr. long class to store owners in the lecture series called Schoolhouse at Market. You might have heard some about this already, as it is something that most fabric designers do in order to educate, promote and show their latest offerings and ideas. For us it is a wonderful opportunity to teach our store owners about what products we have upcoming, what educational information we think they might want to know in order to help them sell and market our patterns & fabrics and generally connect with them and have a bit of a good time. 
It has become a biannual tradition that I do most of the presentation and Eric helps with the technical stuff and the product presentation which this year did include a Power Point presentation… oohhh, I know! . "Product Presentation" is really just a fancy word for saying, "showing them the stuff." Although that doesn't quite tell the whole story either because Eric always comes in shorts and holds quilts up while standing on chairs so that all that you can see is the quilt and his legs. 
Now, I know this is a fabric blog and we are in the textile industry, coming to hear about quilts and patterns… but I ask you this… When these 200 ladies are laughing, whistling and cat calling, is it really for my quilts, or is it more likely for my husband? And is that really the reason that our sessions have standing room only? Just asking….
You are a great sport honey!

Okay, if you are still reading this market 'tome' you must really be a fan of my work… go to bed… or go have a snack. Thanks for reading all the way to the end!

talk to you soon.

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  1. Stephanie | 8th Jul 09

    Great hubby you have! Congrats on your very well-deserved award. I recently took a project on vacation to my desert home because that is where it NEEDED to be photographed. My hubby helps and puts up with my photography whims. :o)

  2. jaybird | 8th Jul 09

    go to bed? i just woke up! yay for east coast!! and you know i’m a fan… one day i’m gonna need a fig tree 10 step program… but not yet! i don’t get sick of reading about market… every designer tells such different stories that its always like a new book! ..and i love the story of photographing quilts… i’ve done the stand on a ladder crazyness as well!

    i’m almost done my skirt…give me till the end of the week and it’ll be done! btw i’m headed to cai in 14 days for quilt festival!!… will you be coming down from san fran?

  3. pam | 8th Jul 09

    The booth was darling as usual and I’m cracking up over the story.

  4. annie | 8th Jul 09

    Of course I read ALL the way to the end…..I LOVE when you post!!! SEW cute and glad you won that award. You deserve it!!! Hugs, Annie

  5. sherri | 8th Jul 09

    Congratulations on the award…so well deserved…your booth was lovely!

  6. v and co | 8th Jul 09

    chuckle…read to the end…
    love everything you do!

  7. Julia | 8th Jul 09

    Hi Joanna,
    congrats on the well deserved award! Had to smile because you first thought you did something wrong (I’m a bit like you…often think I’ll get scolded for something I did unintentionally wrong ;o) ).
    Thanks for another Market Recap – I can only speak for myself but I doubt I’m the only one who can’t get enough {…while I read your blog I fondled the Mill House Inn FQB I got hold of at ebay….I LOVE the new line…and I thought the last one was my favourite…I can’t wait to cut into the bundle of gorgeousness!!!Have to buy some time, too, that I can get started}.
    Cheers, Julia

  8. Magnolia Bay Quilts | 8th Jul 09

    I HAD to read all the way to the end — it was fascinating! Congratulations on your booth award and record-breaking book sales. Your quilts are beautiful.

  9. Camille Roskelley | 8th Jul 09

    Man, you guys are sure WEIRD…

    Great post- even if it is a tad on the late side. Next time, I’ll make you stay at my booth until the scooter comes to find you. Then I’ll just snatch the award and jump up and down with excitement and pretend I won. It’s the perfect plan.

  10. Jocelyn | 8th Jul 09

    Still reading to the end 🙂 Congrats on your award!

  11. Joanna | 8th Jul 09

    Yes, we really are that weird! But it seems that I have heard of another couple somewhere in the vicinity of Las Vegas that might not only rival but beat us out in that category! Anyone? 🙂

  12. Mary on Lake Pulaski | 8th Jul 09

    You are welcome! It was great to read – I’ve never attended but hope to in the future. You certainly deserved the award!!

  13. Camille Roskelley | 8th Jul 09

    Nope, nobody I can think of. Seriously, I think you guys might be our “couple twins” if there is such a thing. Our husbands are so alike it is a little frightening!

  14. sophiet95 | 9th Jul 09

    hmmm, I always read to the end of your stories! And I so admire a man that helps with any aspect of the quilting process-either the makig or the showing. And although I am sure they come to see your stuff, I think Eric’s legs might be the real draw!!!! lol

  15. Robin | 9th Jul 09

    I am laughing myself silly right now. I have the pictures of this running through my mind like a mini movie! You really deserve the award..your booths are always so inspiring and yummy. No matter where you are at, Market or PIQF or others. Love looking at your pics and most of all standing in your booths! Thanks for sharing your stories. My guess is the cat calls are not for your quilts. Oohs and ahhs for quilts…whistles for the assistant Eric.

  16. Carmen Celibataire Endurci | 10th Jul 09

    That was abusy time you had! I love the music on your website!

  17. badlands quilts | 10th Jul 09

    Last weekend over the 4th I took some great photos of projects and this week have had terrible luck with weather… and then I read your post… oh so funny!

  18. Sharon in FL | 11th Jul 09

    Um, maybe some of each? Quilts & Legs! Love coming to your blog and finding a new post to read – no matter the length it’s always worth it. Thanks for the recap and great “photography” story!

  19. Carrie P. | 12th Jul 09

    Lots going on. So busy.

  20. Lisa Gray | 13th Jul 09

    Congratulations on the merchandising award. Yes, I am most definitely a huge fan of your work!! The fabrics, the patterns, and who can resist quilts with legs?! : )

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