So now that you know what I saw, and how much it cost (was that weird or helpful??) I thought I would share how I found the whole experience.
Quilt Market is pretty amazing. The people are friendlier and more welcoming than at any other conference/trade show I've ever been to. There is SO MUCH inspiration and creativity.
I went to attempt to get a fabric design contract. I got a lot of great feedback and learned so much about the industry, including the fact that the median age of quilter is 58 years old, and most people trying to break into fabric design are showing a more modern aesthetic. I was called edgy (if my students heard this they would not believe it). I did not walk away from Market with a design contract. I had a couple of art directors tell me they really liked my stuff and I should keep pushing, but I'm not too sure..
...here's my thinking. I have a (more than) full-time job that I like (most of the time), that pays well and gives me some flexibility in time (although if our new governor has his way this might change). I think the Etsy shop has run its course with me (for many reasons, if you want to know, ask). I want to be involved in this industry, and I thought fabric design would be a good fit. Maybe not.
This epiphany, and the great feedback I got on my designs was enough to make the trip worth it. Add in the AMAZING people I met, and, this trip was over the top AWESOME! It wasn't all kitty cats puking rainbows, though. In my first attempt to talk to an art director, I asked if I could make an appointment to talk about fabric design. One AD turned to another and said, "It's YOUR turn." Nice. Being told the design market is saturated with modern designers and the demand didn't warrant the supply -- that was rough. I mean, I can work harder at being a better designer, but I can't change the market. Or can I? In six years, I'll be 40 and buying modern fabric. In 16 years, I'll be 50 and buying modern fabric. Perhaps we can be forward thinking and start thinking about the market in 20 years?
My last scheduled meeting, I sat down with two art directors and said, "I scheduled this meeting to talk about being a fabric designer, but now I am not sure I WANT to be a fabric designer." They looked at my stuff and told me they liked it and I should keep pushing. We'll see.
I mentioned running in to Anna, Katy, and Brioni. I didn't get to spend enough time with these ladies!
Kathy is fabulous, and if you don't shop with her you are missing out. Did you know she has an 800 number you can call and her staff will help match fabrics and answer questions?? So helpful and she has such a great philosophy about business!
Bari J, Lizzy House, Julie, Linda, Kim, Tula, Kate and Jane were all fantastic to talk to, offered great insights and were just as open and delightful as you would hope.
I made some new friends, like Lauren, Stephanie, Heather, Melanie and Trish.
I started this blog to form connections with people who like to do the things I like to do -- I didn't have anyone in my own "live action" community to relate to in this way. I'm so happy I have lots of friends now to draw inspiration from -- virtually. The funny thing is, I traveled over 1,000 miles to meet a super talented pattern designer who lives just 30 miles away from me! WHAT?!
It was great meeting a "local" who gets why I love to sew! Yay! Go Market! And to thank you for being my friends, virtual or otherwise, I have a few giveaways. Yes, I suppose I am paying you to be my friend. Sad, but true.
First name drawn gets first choice, etc. Here's your choices:
1. Serendipity Studio pattern: The Priscilla Tunic
2. Sweet Ruby Designs pattern: Cooper's Cars
3. Seven fat quarter set of Little Menagerie by Melanie Hurlston of Melly and Me for Windham Fabrics
4. Sudoku Quilt kit featuring Lovely by Sandy Gervais for Moda (this is a pack of 81 charm squares with a sudoku puzzle -- when you solve the puzzle it gives you the layout for a quilt. Or you could just sew something with the 81 charms. Like I would. If I weren't giving it to you.)
(I'm thinking of ending my posts this way. It has a nice ring to it.)
PS Sorry to do a giveaway on a post with only one photo. LAME. But I am packing up projects for my quilt retreat weekend and my camera is already packed. Wait, Quilt Market and THEN quilt retreat? YES. DON'T JUDGE ME.