Got back from Pittsburgh yesterday just in time to attend our monthly guild meeting. George and Virginia Sicliano were the guest speakers and I didn’t want to miss that. Have you ever seen any of his quilts? Simply beautiful and amazing! He makes (and wins lots of awards for) foundation pieced miniature quilts primarily based on the log cabin and twisted log cabin blocks. We’re talking 2,000 – 3,000 pieces or more in a 12 inch square or smaller quilt! OK – got a sense of how small those pieces are? Now picture the man making those quilts: George, a retired ex-Marine, a man in his 60’s maybe, at least 6′ tall. Very serious, but very funny! Very unexpected!
This weekend was full of the unexpected! As you know from 2 posts ago, I had been very focussed on having everything ready to support my first pattern that would be showcased at Market. On the 5 1/2 hour drive to Pittsburgh, I thought about how I would spend my time at Market. I would visit the Island Batik booth to see what kind of reception the quilt was getting, I would drop by the Pattern Peddler booth occassionally to see if there had been any sales, and I thought I’d drop by the CK Media booth (the publishers of Quilters Newsletter) to invite any of the editors to take a look at Dandelion Wine to see if there might be some interest (they had published/patterend Treasure Chest and Christmas Candy in 2007.) Beyond that, I was just going to play it by ear and see what other opportunities might be out there.
Best laid plans of mice and men…. We (my husband came along this time to see what market was all about and check out the area golf courses)finally got to the Convention Center at 3:00 on Friday. We headed straight for the Island Batik booth so I could see my baby. As we approached the booth, I saw the quilt draped nicely between and over some other very nice quilts. I thought to myself that it might not get too much notice hung that way, but at least it was displayed in this great venue. Evidently I was wrong – very wrong!
As soon as we got close enough to re-introduce myself to Moira (the owner of Island Batik), I couldn’t take the news in fast enough – customers who had already been by the booth, loved the quilt and at least one had purchased the entire line of fabric that I had used. If that wasn’t enough good news – Mark Lipinski, editor of Quilter’s Home Magazine and ambassador to the show (Pittsburgh is his hometown, afterall!) had also stopped by, fell in love with the colors and said he wanted to publish/pattern the quilt in the October/November issue and could he take it with him at the end of the show! If my husband had not been there with me to take that all in, I think I might still be standing there with a dumb look on my face. “Did I just hear what I think I heard? This is amazing news, but what do I do now???” My husband pulled me out of my stupor and said, “We have to go find Mark.” Now ironically, on our way into the convention center, I had just seen him chatting with a few people (Mark was never not chatting or hugging someone!) and I had pointed him out to my husband – who knows how much I love reading his magazine.
Sure enough, we had heard right – Mark was interested in publishing the quilt. He would need to take the quilt at the end of the show and keep it until the end of September to have it photographed and patterned for the Oct/Nov issue. I couldn’t pay for better publicity than that! Of course with things that good, there is often a catch. Despite the great publicity, I would have to withdraw the pattern from the market until 6 months after the magazine was published. Which means I can start re-selling the pattern again in April 2010. Disappointing as that is, I’ve been down that road before with Treasure Chest and Christmas Candy, so it wasn’t a complete surprise. However, at that time, I wasn’t up and running with my own pattern/website business. Unfortunatley, I also had to tell Pattern Peddlers to take down the pattern. That was the most difficult thing I had to do, since the owner also really liked the pattern and Island Batik had already started sending people over to order the pattern.
The rest of Friday, my feet never touched the ground as Greg and I perused the remaining 26 aisles of wholesale vendors! What a great way to start the weekend! I didn’t round up a whole lot more business during the weekend (What offer could possibly top a magazine spotlight?) except to accept another offer to design a quilt for Island Batik’s fall market booth. So, I spent a good part of Saturday, working up a design and selecting fabrics for their next quilt. I am already excited about this next new design!
I guess I better start working on some of the other patterns in the line-up!
“Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get!” I think I got the cherry this time!
P.S. I took some pictures at Market that I will post as soon as I can.