Wow. Really, wow. Where oh where to begin? How about the what: Spring Quilt Market is currently being held here in Portland, Oregon. Five years ago was the last time Quilt Market was here and where my career as an independent designer really took shape. I may have already told this story, so bear with me for just a moment if you already know all of this.
My mother, Melissa, is a quilter. An amazing quilter who formerly owned a quilt shop in Montana. I didn't grow up with my mother and so our love of fabric and sewing was something we had in common when we became re-acquainted several years ago. She was coming to town to attend market and I, having just started Kung Fu Bambini on a one-of-a-kind basis, tagged along.
Now, a love for sewing we may have in common but our styles are another thing entirely. She's a Montana quilter. She likes moose and bears, oh my! I'm a midwest transplant to the city. I love the saturated colors of candy, flora, fauna, glass, you know, almost edible or covetable or .... let's face it, I can't describe it. But color makes my heart sing. And thus why I'm Lowes' mis-tint best customer. That's another story entirely.
Anyhoo - she was deep into some evergreen tree prints when I stumbled, quite literally, onto Amy Butler's booth. She had just launched Gypsy Caravan and I stopped dead in my tracks causing a half dozen people to crash into each other and me in the aisle. My mouth dropped and I walked right up to the lovely tall blond woman in the booth. Being a complete newbie and having not really thought about the situation at all, I totally thought she was a sales rep and launched into how refreshing it was to see something so new and vibrant in such an evergreen tree-esque environment. Yeah, it was Amy Butler. She was as amazingly nice then as she was again yesterday, but we'll get to that. I quickly took myself right over to Roy from EE Schenck, my local distributor and customer service rep-extraordinaire, and ordered the whole kit and kaboodle. Every print. I still have at least a fat quarter of each and every print from Gypsy Caravan and I have most of Temple Flowers, Ginger Bliss, Charm and Charm II. Jealous? hehe.
Okay, so fast forward five years. Kung fu bambini is a thriving little operation and here I am at market again. Only this time things are quite different. Market is different, I am different.
I am always continually amazed at how much possible visual pleasure I can get at specific tradeshows. I gear up for them expecting a certain amount of visual bliss, but I love the satisfaction in being caught off guard with the abundance of it all. I am a visual person. I can walk the aisles of market and literally feel my mood change based up on the colors, patterns and textures. Each large fabric company has a sectioned off area where their reps sit at tables for appointments to purchase their lines. Most of these areas can be distinguished by the color of their carpet as well as their booth displays. Michael Miller has white carpet and I feel instantly lighter and happier being there. I walked through one company's area that had hunter green carpet and dark fabrics draped everywhere and told Michelle (my design partner on a new project that I'll hint about later) as we walked through that I felt like I was dying inside walking through it. That's how much it affects me. I should get pics of that tomorrow as well.
I'm going to try to cover as much as I can from market, one blog post at a time. The very first thing I need to do is apologize for my lack of photos and their quality. I am going to try for more pics of everything tomorrow. For now, here is quick sneak at Amy Butler's booth. Stunning, as always!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I think it must be birthday party season. I know that's not possible, but it sure seems like it runs in cycles. Cannon and Mia have each had two parties in the last two weeks and they each have a party to attend this weekend as well - at the same time - in opposite directions. I will be selling my lovely wares at the St. John's Bizarre Bazaar in the St John's neighborhood here in Portland this Saturday so their daddy gets to navigate that situation! Whew. hehe.
We've decided that this year, our gift of choice is the tutu. Every one that we've made so far has turned out very different. I've altered the colors and style on each one. This tutu was for a very special friend of Cannon's for her fourth birthday. I hope she gets a lot of happy twirling time out of it.
To get this effect, I used two yards of a coral pink tulle. The tulle comes folded in half lengthwise on the bolt and I folded in in half a second time, but I folded each selvage edge up to the fold line and stitched the four layers with the longest straight stitch two times, 1/4 inch apart creating two long pockets and leaving about 6" of extra string at the end.
I then filled each one with orange rose petals and stitched it closed with one normal straight stitch. Then I gathered the tulle by pulling the bobbin threads and tying them off at the desired amount of gather. I measured how far my elastic length that I had chosen was in its most stretched state. I attached the waistband elastic with a zigzag top stitch about 1/2" from the edge of the tulle in between the original straight stitching leaving the rough selvedge edge to make a puffy edge.
I usually serge the elastic on and turn and top stitch it, but I wanted to try this fun edge this time and I like how it turned out. Enjoy!
Posted by Violet Craft at 11:34 PM
Friday, May 2, 2008
This is the lovely Violet Studio. At least, this is what it looked like two years ago when I first moved in. It is such a beautiful, inspiring workspace in a building filled with all sorts of creative businesses and people.
The studio doesn't look anything like this anymore though! Two years, three studio-mates, four fashion shows, two dozen tradeshows, a hundred and fifty retail store accounts, Vogue Bambini, Hudson's, Earnshaw's and lots of online exposure later and well, let's just say it's a little different in a "lived in" sort of way! ha!
Recently, I moved a portion of the business home. All of the administrative and office duties moved into my home studio. My husband and I are both web developer's also and I manage all of the books for both businesses. With Cannon still with me everyday and Mia at school just blocks away it became a lot easier to do those tasks at home and to focus on production at the studio.
One of my wonderful studiomates just let me know that they will be moving their business home. It's been great having them in the studio and they will be greatly missed. We are on the hunt for a new studio-mate so if you know anyone looking, let us know! We promise to clean!
We will also be having a HUGE studio clean out sale. We've got desks, file cabinets, chairs, TONS OF FABRIC, trims, chenille bedspreads, and of course, lots of samples and overstock. I'll keep you posted on the date!
Posted by Violet Craft at 2:27 PM