a day at Quilt Market, topped with a Sandy Surprise

I have to admit, it felt a bit strange visiting Quilt Market for the first time AFTER doodlespark’s first licensed fabric collection was created… I suppose it would have been helpful for me to view other collections in person, chat with designers and scope the scene before I tried my hand at turning our Cultivate drawing into a fabric suite … But alas, this was not to be and I entered the Houston Convention Hall quite wide-eyed. A barrage of color and pattern greeted me in way that was more overwhelming than my experience at any other trade show. When I launched Loop at the National Stationery Show in 2007, I felt grounded by my small, mostly back and white booth, anchored by the product line and curious to see the reaction. This time – without a booth of my own and in mostly uncharted, trend-specific waters – I felt a bit more at sea.
Out trip was to be a 2-day affair; I’d planned to walk the Show on Day One making notes along the way to direct me to specific collections and designers to return to. I’m not a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination ( the sewing machine on the end of my desk veritably taunts me to master it! ), so being surrounded by crafty projects + masterful quilts made me feel out of my element. And all the color! My eyes had a hard time landing on anything specific, and I felt exhausted by the end of just a few hours. Unfortunately, Sandy had us rushing home the next morning via a 4:00am shuttle to the airport.


It was delightful seeing my contacts from Clothworks in person, and that was the real reason I wanted to attend. Their design team was so helpful via email throughout the course of this project and it was wonderful to talk in person about our work together and how our lives and our professional endeavors invariably intersect ( and often collide! ). Fat quarters of Cultivate ( above, left and my mom, above, right ) were shown on their order-writing tables and it was a true thrill to catch a glimpse of such a personal work of art in the midst of the color cloud that was the Show.
IMG_1322[ Summer Fusion c. 2009 by Patricia A. Montgomery ]
Paired with the industry-only trade show was a juried exhibit of art quilts. I’d seen many in magazine or books, but never had the chance to view these works of art in person. I simply don’t have words to describe the richness of texture, the nimble use of thread as line and shading, the creative arrangement of color and pattern, the masterful technique, all of which elevated the ensembles into a class of their own. Some resembled paintings or sculptures, built in layers to leap off the wall in a living way. I tried to take pictures, but it was hard to capture the depth of each piece.
IMG_1234[ detail of Papaver Somniferum by Grace Meijer ]
IMG_1316IMG_1317[ details of Serenity by Valerie White ]
IMG_1256IMG_1258IMG_1255[ details and overall of Lakeside Solace by Noriko Endo ]

Afternoon Social

I’ve just made myself a hot mug of Earl Grey ( with milk and honey ) while I put some finishing touches on three new ways to connect with doodlespark. So, it’s a bit like a virtual tea time here, dear friends, and I have a few things to show you.

I’m not sure why its taken me to so long to develop our social media; I think part of me feels funny about broadcasting too many personal details … I think the story of a company is a vital way to connect people with the product they invite into their lives, I’m just not sure I want to announce what I have for breakfast and how I’m feeling about work, weather, and other randomness throughout the day. So, I will try to edit these postings so that they are personal but relevant, reflecting my internal life in a way that informs my public life. Look out for Doodlespark inspiration, news, fabric finds + eco interests now on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.


A very special parcel arrived at my doorstep the other day, and it’s a wonder I‘ve waited this long to share it with you. Samples of our Cultivate line with Clothworks veritably burst out of the box, brightening the room with color and making Philadelphia seem less in the grip of Autumn’s descent into winter and more in the throes of a burgeoning Spring. I snapped a few pictures with my iPhone, as I was readying to leave for Houston the next day to attend Quilt Market. ( more on that spectacular event later ). No time to iron or adjust the lighting, I just couldn’t help but share !