Windham Fabrics announces Natalie Barnes as a part of the Fabric Design Family!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Market and Festival - packing for a successful trip!

there are lots of posts about Market and Festival
I thought I might write a different type of post

how to pack for Market and Festival
hosts the industry wholesale show called
International Quilt Market

it is absolutely an industry show
a commercial
big business

the floor of the convention center is approximately
500,000 square feet
and the second and third floors used for classrooms and support
are the same size
attending in 2015 were approximately 500 vendors
including fabrics, battings, notions, distributors,
independent pattern designers,
embellishments, rulers, templates, threads,

here are my five TOP Market travel tips:

they have great benefits for shop owners
they have a great hotel discount for all Market events
they have fun events at Market

2.  if you're the type, have a roommate
it's fun to see things from a different perspective

3.  download the photographs from your phone, at home, before you go
if you use your phone as your camera, 
you're gonna need all available space on that device
you can also take pics of the items you ordered
and use the pics for newsletters and other marketing tools
to get your customers into your shop
when the new goods arrive

4.  bring lots of business cards, and have them handy
find an online printer, and bring gazillions of cards

while I may find my handouts in the trash,
your cards will be used by the people that ask for them
or you will want to give your card to that special instructor you meet

pattern designers, fabric companies, and distributors
all really DO want your information!!
here are a few easy printing solutions:
(at the time of this publication, about $25 for 500)

5.  bring a spiral bound notebook
you will want to make notes as you walk the floor
make a note of the name of the exhibitor that catches your eye
and jot down their ROW
with a short note about your first impressions

now for the packing basics.

bags and shoes

bring a very lightweight handbag that's at least 8.5 x 11"
you're gonna fill it up
(some folks bring a cross body teeny bag and a giant tote for papers)
carry  an rfid blocking wallet
I bring a separate small flat zip bag to place in the hotel safe
otherwise, I am a Kelty backpack sort of girl...a pocket for everything
there are three shoe types you'll need for Market:

1.  nice shoes for your nice professional business like outfit
(that you can walk a marathon in - I use OrthaHeel by Dr. Weil)

2.  shoes you can walk in for a week
(my choice has exceeded tennis shoes and has advanced to light hiking shoes)
these shoes you can walk in for a week
also doubles as the "it's raining cats and dogs" shoes
because, well, let's face it.  it's Houston.  it's gonna rain.

3.  flip flops for the hotel
when you walk through the door and immediately shed your shoes!!

there are plenty of places to travel where you will need to bring
your own culture
is not one of them
so, my personal "gear" list is light:

phone as camera
phone as email 
texting "what aisle are you on now?"
phone as phone
cord for phone
flash charger for phone
you will probably want to spend your evenings
attending the meet ups and parties
but if you don't blog by phone, bring your tablet
one of my carry items is this flashlight
(looks like the new ones come with a usb port for charing!)

small earbuds if your seat mate on the plane is someone to avoid

and a cable to connect your tablet or phone to the hotel tv for movies
jewelry gear
you'll want to look your best
head on over to tjmax or marshals for a lovely inexpensive long necklace
but remember you have to wear a lanyard too

throw in some brighton "fake" sterling silver bracelets
and travel with that $40 qvc diamonique ring

a friend of mine gave me this little travel jewelry case
(I think the next Martingale gifts book is going to have a great pattern
for something like this - hint hint, just're gonna like it!)

watch?  use your phone.

health and safety
this is just my thing - like always knowing about the weather
in a town unfamiliar to you, turn on the phone weather alert setting
and just like washing your car so it will rain, 
I always carry,
tucked in the bottom of my bag, just in case someone might need....

the potions you use when you feel "it" coming on
zicam, pepto bismo, cepacol, alkaseltzer plus cold and flu, mucinex
and for me, an ankle and knee support, arnica gel,
and a travel ice pack
you know....just so I won't ever need any of it!!!
(making no recommendations or endorsements for any of these products!!)

what you're really going to need is moisturizer, moisturizer, moisturizer!
this is a great trip to try a simple approach to makeup
head over to ULTA or some other cosmetics shop
and pick up one of those fun
travel kits
(body, shampoo, lotion, etc)
in a brand that you have always been wanting to try
(here's an airline tip - wipe down your airline tray table, and arm rests with some "wet wipes")

and finally, 

lightweight rain coat
(I found a great car coat length dennis basso piece on qvc once upon a time and I have never regretted the purchase - altho, it can rain so much that you'll want your Columbia gear hooded coat.....either of those raincoats roll into an 8" x 3" tube like shape)

travel day outfit
slacks (yes slacks, not jeans), comfy top, flowing wrap over comfy top,
light weight rain coat over that, with long soft scarf
(scarves also come in handy when the person sitting next to you in the plane is sneezing)
your all weather shoes

"walking the floor" outfits
three days of no iron professional looking travel outfits
my hint:  three dresses with a soft flowing card, three pairs of tights, done.

two days of your favorite dress up tops to wear with those slacks (yes, slacks)
for evenings out on the town
and one more pair of slacks and a nice top/cardigan/scarf
for a nice dinner with new friends, and your home travel day

ask the hotel housekeeping to bring you extra hangars
hang everything so you can see it, so you can mix and match
have any of you looked at project 333?
this has helped me quite a bit with my packing....

so, here is my summary (other than "unmentionables")
three dresses
three pairs of tights
two pairs of slacks
three tops
one cardigan
one flowing wrap/top/cardi thing
one long soft scarf
five pairs of socks/trouser socks

one lightweight nylon "gear" bag
either baggu or target travel section

one lightweight nylon "health and safety" bag

one very small "jewelry" travel case

flip flops, nice shoes, rugged weather shoes (wear on plane)
lightweight rain jacket (wear on plane)
(hint from the northwest:  get a jacket with a hoodie - ditch the umbrella)
(or in your case, you may substitute small cross body bag and tote)
(Alexander Henry booth Fall Market 2015)

if you want some creative time, bring a very small handwork project
in a very small bag
(for me, I bring knitting, because the floor info can be overwhelming, and I knit on the plane)
this is a wholesale show

no retail sales allowed

one of the most important parts of attending Market
is seeing good friends
and making new friends
be sure to chat with people on the floor, in the booths and at the coffee bar
(GinnyJones and PokeyBolton Fall Market 2015)

 hope this travel pack hack
is helpful
honestly, you should be able to put all of your little gear type bags
in your backpack, with a small purse/wallet
and your clothes in your carry on
with room to bring home catalogs and great new ideas
from the exhibitors

want to win
this Robert Kaufman KonaCotton

leave us a message with one item you would add to this list!
(the random number generator will select a winner next weekend, 
when we post how to pack for Festival!)


Sunday, October 4, 2015

....another "back to school" tip!

it's quite simple, actually

this little pressing tip

after chain piecing a seam on a whole lot of blocks
I use my little baby bow scissors to cut the blocks apart

stack them up
then hold them up with one hand

I take the selected pressing spray in the other hand

and spray all of the ends
all of them

all at once.
and, of course, I do this over my pressing surface
easy peasy

I lay the stack down on my pressing surface,
take each block off of the stack, one by one
and press the seam
(whether you press from the back, and press your seams open
or you press from the front, and fold over)

if it seems as tho one seam or another has not received enough spray
then I will spray that one block individually

otherwise - phew!
what a time saver.

ps - did you find the pun in this post?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015



with A Modern Twist

do you love a good mystery?
do you like trying new quilting techniques?
are you ready to sew "just a little bit" every month?

we have created a
monthly mystery
we will be giving you a "project section" a month
a piece of the mystery
and by the time you have completed all six monthly pieces of the project
you will have the required pieces to construct
medallion quilt
approximate size
60" x 68"

we have designed this quilt using

the clues to the mystery will come monthly
for six months
September (free pattern) - October - November
January - February - March

here's the thing
I have always believed in the Sees Candy approach
"have a piece of our candy while you wait
see if you like it
then you can purchase it"


you'll find the first design here:

while you won't be REQUIRED to purchase the book,
this book will have a lot of hints and more detailed information
about the techniques used in
you will be sent a pattern and fabulous and different
Cotton + Steel
fabrics each month
each pattern will utilize a different quilting/color technique

if you choose the pattern only option, we will send you your pattern
via email

once you have gone to the shop site and signed up for the mystery,
we will bill you monthly
$29.00 + shipping
for the pattern and the fabrics
for the digital pattern only

shipping US - $5.95
International - $21.95

come join in the fun!
have questions?  give me a call or email me

Monday, May 25, 2015

Flower Fields Giveaway(s)

f l o w e r   f i e l d s

f l o w e r   f i e l d s
Me + You
Indah solids


f l o w e r   f i e l d s

 some of you will like this version of this quilt

but others of you will like this
you know the fabric
it's woven
it's soft
it's hand quilt-able
and it has that woven shimmer that is just plain magic
and we were ready to talk about this next version of the new pattern
I asked her if she could leave
block unquilted
you know.
and that is when
this version of the quilt
became my favorite
now, don't get me wrong
the Indah Solids are lovely saturated deep crisp colors
it's good to connect with our projects
to slow it down just a little bit
even if it is
and everything that comes with all of that

it's good to stitch our hopes and dreams and core values and beliefs
into our projects
one stitch at a time

to tie it all together,
the binding for this quilt
was attached to the back, and folded over to the front
and stitched down using
"natalie's quilted binding"
(look for detail photo on the instragram feed)

as this is our last new pattern post, we're going all out.
we will be giving two select bundles of
two select bundles of
Indah Solids
we'll also be giving away
two bundles of select
Heavy Metal and Artisan Cottons
and it's all thanks to these wonderful fabric companies!

leave me a comment below
telling me whether you are a
"solid" or "artisan"
how you connect with your projects
are you hand quilting?
doing more applique?
are you embroidering your quilt labels?

ps - we'll be at Quiltin' Cousins this coming weekend
for the 
we'll be signing books
with Buddy-Dog
come say hello!!!

(I read a great disclaimer the other day on a giveaway.
It said, "I don't get paid, I'm not sponsored, or licensed or any of the likes"
It said, "the opinions expressed are my own"
it said, "other than the fabrics so generously provided by the fabric companies,
the rest is just me"
well, it sortof said that.
kindof like that...)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tattoo Giveaway(s)


t a t t o o

 this is a great pattern
it has a lot going on for as simple as it is
there are lines, triangles, quilted shadows of shapes, an organizing color/stripe

great quilting by
all representing island tattoos
the fabrics are
both by Marcia Derse - Bookends and Palette
and thanks to Windham
we have
of these stacks of 5 inch squares
to giveaway

here's another question for you
do you like slick/solid graphic prints
do you like sketchy painterly prints

leave a comment below
and remember, I'd love to have you follow
the blog
facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest
(we spend time on all of these posts!!)
as for tomorrow...
have a
t h o u g h t f u l
Memorial Day

Floats Giveaway(s)



this version was made from
Me + You
Indah solids and textures
and this version was made with
(in the UnitedNotions/Moda booth at Spring Market)
the great quilting is done by
this collection also has some of the prints printed on linen!
the bundle above is one giveaway
and this bundle is the second giveaway!

yes, this was yesterday's blog post giveaway
but remember
you have until Tuesday to leave comments on all five posts!

do you follow us on facebook?

leave your comment below and let us know
where you follow along
if you follow the blog
(the random number generator will select the winners on Tuesday)

I'd love to have you follow along....
it would really mean a lot to me 
why don't you try it for a while
sign up this weekend!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Post and Beam giveaway(s)

meet our second new pattern

Post and Beam

fabric shown is

you may have seen this pattern version of this design
EE Schenck/Maywood Studios
in some of the Spring Market photographs

but you probably have seen this version of the quilt too
it was featured in Quilter's Newsletter Magazine special edition,
21 Best Tradition with a Twist Quilts
this version has a scrappy charcoal background
and a little
"kitchen sink"
thrown in
the accents are a bundle of little dots from

you can incorporate
a fabric line
with your stash!  with your scraps!

we'll be selecting two winners for this giveaway
Fresh Water Fabrics batiks bundle
"Cycles of Life fabric collection by Kristen Berger of Kite Flying Society for Maywood Studios" bundle
(bundle available mid june)
(thank you EE Schenck!)

leave us a comment
and answer the question:
what is your favorite scrappy background color?
neutral?  white?  black?  red?  beige?  or another color?
let me know!!
(and tune in tomorrow for a new pattern!!)