Wednesday, November 28, 2018

My Trip To Quilt Market As A Designer

Really? It's almost December? And I'm over here still trying to recoup from my trip to Quilt Market and the Immersion Retreat that was at the beginning of the month!

As I've mentioned a couple of times on the blog, this year I spent quite a bit of time learning Adobe Illustrator and surface pattern design. The culmination of all that work was a portfolio containing three fabric collections that I showed to a few fabric companies at Quilt Market in Houston. I approached the opportunity as a learning experience to gain feedback on the direction of my style and designs.

Portfolio Designed & Made By Thistle Thicket Studio.
I went armed with my portfolio that I made myself. The cover features the focal print in the fall colorway of my collection "Lena", and the bow is one of the coordinating prints. I had the fabric printed at Spoonflower. 

Inside Cover Of Portfolio Designed & Made By Thistle Thicket Studio.
The inside cover and title page also featured coordinates from the Lena collection printed on paper. I named the collection Lena because the collection was inspired by a piece of fabric that I inherited from the hubby's great-grandmother Paulina "Lena" Dierks.

Lena Recipe Tea Towel Designed By Thistle Thicket Studio.
I designed a tea towel that coordinated with the collection and featured Lena's recipe for peppernuts or pfefferneuse. The above photo is of the page in my portfolio featuring the tea towel.

Lena Tea Towel Designed & Made By Thistle Thicket Studio.
I had the tea towels printed at Spoonflower and gave a tea towel (with a USB drive with my portfolio tied to the ribbon) to each art director I met with. I also had business cards printed featuring the Lena floral on one side and a coordinate with my contact info on the other side and attached them to each tea towel ribbon tie also.

Of course, if any art directors happen to be interested in seeing this collection, please contact me via the email on my contact page and I'll send you a link to my online portfolio.:)

Stay tuned and I'll share snippets of the two other collections in my portfolio soon!


Friday, November 9, 2018

Immersion Retreat

Whew! It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks. With my mom riding shotgun, I headed to Texas for some spoiling of grandkids, shopping, antiquing, visiting family, International Quilt Market and finally, the Immersion Retreat.

Bonnie Christine, Skye McNeill and me at the Immersion Retreat. Photo by Callie Lynch.
What is the Immersion Retreat? Well, it was one of the most amazing experiences I've been honored to participate in. The Immersion Retreat evolved from the Surface Pattern Design Immersion class that I took this spring from instructor Bonnie Christine Forkner. Bonnie is a textile designer for Art Gallery Fabrics, Skillshare instructor extraordinaire, and such an inspiring and genuine person. I learned so much in the Immersion course about using Adobe Illustrator, the textile market, and the business of surface pattern design. It was such a great learning experience that no one wanted it to end. And then Bonnie came up with the awesome idea of holding a retreat so that her students of the class could meet, share, bond, and learn from each other. 

We gathered outside the Quilt Market hall for our first lunch together.
My retreat experience started on the first day of Quilt Market in Houston, where several of us met up with Bonnie for lunch, followed by a walk of the market floor. Somehow, though, we all kind of went our separate ways after lunch and never walked the market floor together. I think we all had appointments and other things that we had planned while at market. I was so busy I forgot to take any photos, except for this photo as we began to gather before lunch. I'll be sharing more of what I did at market in later posts.

As we arrived at the Immersion Retreat, we were greeted by warmly lit, rustic buildings and a cozy campfire.
The Pearl Barn at The Prairie At Round Top. Photo by Callie Lynch.

Table setting inside the Pearl Barn. Photo by Callie Lynch.
Another shot of the Pearl Barn. Photo by Callie Lynch.
On the second day of market, I traveled to The Prairie At Round Top where our Immersion Retreat was held. The Prairie is a beautifully rustic bed & breakfast. The historic homestead was originally renovated by the creator of shabby chic, Rachel Ashwell. The Pearl Barn, where we ate our meals, was decorated by the Junk Gypsies and featured on their TV show. The setting and d├ęcor was such a laid back relaxing atmosphere, and was a perfect reflection of our instructor Bonnie's style.

Bonnie held a 2 hour Q&A, sharing her knowledge with us.
Bonnie also shared her talents with us, painting linen goodie bags for each of us. Photo by Callie Lynch.
A moleskin notebook covered in one of Bonnie's fabrics was inside each goodie bag. Photo by Callie Lynch.
Bonnie is such a caring and giving soul, and she is willing to share so much of her knowledge and talents with everyone. I have learned so much from her.

Photo by Callie Lynch.
Although the location was amazing, it was the 36 creative women who gathered together for two days of sharing, supporting, creating and encouraging each other that made for such a tremendous experience. I truly feel like I made some life-long friends who will be there to support me as I pursue my creative dreams.

Flower sketch.
But alas, after an evening of drawing, it came to an end all too quickly and mom and I had to head back home to Kansas. I left with a renewed motivation and a ton of ideas that I want to tackle all at once (which means I'll probably be spinning my wheels for a few days until I settle in and start working down my checklist).