Fabric Designers – the nicest people on earth – Part 1

Pixie Girl Quilts paper doll wall art
Pixie Girl Quilts paper doll wall art - this was a free pattern at market - lucky! http://www.pixiegirlquilts.com

The Joy-Bringers

There must be a chemical involved in designing fabric that makes people extremely nice – and I have got to get me some of that!

One of the most amazing things about going to quilt market is walking down the aisles and coming upon a booth where a fabric designer is standing!

You are just walking along – minding your own business, looking at stuff, and BOOM!  There they are!  Just as if they are an actual, real person.

They walk and talk and … breathe and everything!

You see them talking to people and smiling, and you just feel special being near all of that talent!

And they are cheerful and positive – when I am done with designing my fabric line, I plan to be really tired and cranky!

Becky Goldsmith's booth
Becky Goldsmith's booth

One of the masters in the world of applique is Becky Goldsmith.  She is the nicest, most approachable person.  She is sweet and kind to boot!  Her booth featured some of her amazing quilts and her newest fabric line.  I muddled around fondling the fabrics, and when my companion expressed a special interest in it, she just gave us a jelly roll.  Just like that – free fabric – awesome!

Circular Momentum, by Becky Goldsmith
Circular Momentum, by Becky Goldsmith

At the airport on my way home, I found myself in line with Becky and she was STILL nice!  I was sooo tired, in my sweats, and my makeup was migrating southward, and she still looked alert and alive.  I introduced myself and identified that I had written a pattern pack for C & T, just like her.  And STILL she was nice – she could have said, “You fat cow, stay off my applique patch!”  Or she could have tried to scratch my eyes out or even kicked me, but no – just pleasant, encouraging, and positive. She even let me be her facebook friend.  Unbelievable!

Bari J in her booth
Bari J in her booth

Bari J’s corner booth was beautiful.  She was very busy at market with her new book Inspired to Sew out from Stash Books and her (I believe it is) fourth fabric line.  When I was there Bari was busy being interviewed for something important, like a magazine or television show.  So, not only are fabric designers talented but v. busy and important, too!  I admit I was envious.

I met two new fabric designers at this year’s market, Violet Craft and Amanda Murphy.

Amanda Murphy's Booth
Amanda Murphy's Booth

I might have been in Amanda Murphy’s beautiful booth taking photos with the express intention of stealing the design you see on the pillow and quilt with the white-background vine.  OK, I was totally going to steal the idea, but she came around the corner and said hi to me and then she was so… you guessed it… nice … and THEN she gave me some free pre-cut squares of her new fabric line Veranda, and then I just COULDNT steal her idea.

But now she has a new fan!  That rankles a little – I guess I will have to go back to making up my own designs – Dang!

Violet Craft in her booth
Violet Craft in her booth

I was drawn right in to Violet Craft’s booth by the great sign that read Peacock Lane that she  had posted in adorable frames.  Violet introduced herself; she is a new fabric designer from Portland.  She shared her tales of getting the booth ready with us. The strike-offs (the advance fabric samples) of her fabrics (deliciously named Cherry Chip and Rainbow Sorbet) didn’t come until two and three days before she was leaving for Salt Lake City.  AND THEN she had to make all her samples and displays for the market!  AND STILL she was nice – WHAT is in that fabric?

Sandi Henderson's booth - center section
Sandi Henderson's booth - center section

Just down the hall from Violet, I stumbled upon a gorgeous double booth that had just been awarded a prize for best booth, or nicest person, I can’t remember which.  There, standing on her own two feet, upright and everything, was one of the most exciting fabric designers of all – Sandi Henderson.  I was absolutely verklempt.  Over the last year I had meant, so many times, to contact her and tell her that her Ginger Blossom fabric was not only on the cover if my new book, Maverick Quilts, but is also featured in the Estate Sale Quilt in Dream Chair Quilts.  But I never had, and there she was standing there in the flesh!

Ginger Jalousie quilt, by Alethea Ballard
Ginger Jalousie quilt, by Alethea Ballard

Sandi had all of her new fabrics from her Secret Garden line in frames and on display in the booth.  It is such an exciting new collection and I loved seeing it all!

Sandi Henderson's booth - left side (see the blue ribbon?)
Sandi Henderson's booth - left side (see the blue ribbon?)

I introduced myself.  She was so gracious and lovely to talk to.  (Perhaps niceness pills come with those strike-off shipments?)  It was so fun to give her a postcard of the book with her fabric smack dab right there on the paper.  I simply cannot wait to send her a copy of the book!

Sandi Henderson and Alethea Ballard
Sandi Henderson and Alethea Ballard

(Notice the stunned look on my face – not so nice!)

When you are standing in a booth full of new fabrics, there is this overwhelming feeling of possibility – you see all the fabric and know that someday you might just hold some of that fabric in your own tiny hand, and it is thrilling!  I think that is why I am so drawn to the designers – they bring such joy into my little fabric-obsessed life.  They are joy-bringers.  And it all comes out of their talent and creativity.

Without them I would still be using blue and brown calicos – yikes – it doesn’t bear thinking about!


4 thoughts on “Fabric Designers – the nicest people on earth – Part 1

  1. Oh how I wish I had been there to share your verklemptness. When your fabric line is ready I will go to Market with you to help set up. Promise!
    And I think there is magic chocolate dust mixed in with fabric chemicals that keeps everyone smiling and alert. They all have a deal with Willy Wonka. Just a guess, but educated, of course.

    Love ya gal!

  2. Great post…fab fabrics. What a blast. don’t know how I would behave around all that beautiful fabric! oh my….would be tempted to unroll the bolts and roll in them! lol and then rack up my husbands always paid off credit card—and then not be able to pay THAT. ;D I have always heard that the quilting community-fabric designers are the absolute nicest people…well, OF COURSE. Glad I found your blog.

  3. I was laughing so hard all the way through this post that I could hardly breathe, but when you starting talking about Sandi’s booth and hit me with the comic trifecta of verklempt, shocked photo expression, and blue/brown calico, it was almost a 911 moment!

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