Monday, September 29, 2008

I need your input!

I spent the afternoon yesterday with my friends at Quiltz in Phoenix promoting the class I'll be teaching there on my Sugar & Spice pattern on Friday, November 14th. It was a great time and I met lots of nice people and got to play show-and-tell with all of my new patterns and samples. I'm really looking forward to the class. I'll also be teaching a new pattern that hasn't been published yet at Cotton Fields Quilt and Knit on Thursday of this week and that one will be a great time as well.

There's something in the works that I'm going to "leak" a little bit so that I can get your thoughts. A local shop owner approached me about starting a "Patrick Lose Club" for quilt shops and their customers. Clubs are nothing new but we think we can put together an original one with a lot of fun ideas and perks for the people who love using my patterns and fabrics. What would appeal to you in a club of this sort? What I want to know is this: Are you more interested in getting existing patterns or occasional offers of patterns and fabrics at a reduced price? Or would you like to have access to exclusive club-only pattern and craft designs? Do you like attending party-like events and classes at your favorite local quilt shop? Would you participate in online aspects of the club (coupons, a forum, blogging, downloading designs)?

I have LOTS of ideas! In fact, the only reason we can't just start it up right now is that we need to weed out some of the ideas so we aren't bombarding you all at once with everything. If you have ideas for my club that you'd like to share, please contact me or comment here. That will help us to know what YOU want and keep us from weeding out something you'd like. And, if you want my club in your local shop, the best thing to do is to contact the shop owner and have them contact me with their ideas and input.

Rest assured this won't be your average, ordinary quilt shop club. And I'd like you to be involved from the beginning as a part of our little "focus group"! So get your thoughts together and let me know what you think.

Thanks for looking in on me :)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Still under the weather...

...but I'm back from Las Vegas and today is a "Lily Day" so that makes it better :) I'll be back to update soon.

Thanks for looking in on me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What happens in Vegas...

...doesn't always need to stay there. In fact, I want to tell you about the day I spent in the Las Vegas area yesterday.

I decided to pack up some work and get in the car to go visit a friend who lives there. I've been teaching him to quilt and he's been helping me get some samples made for Market. I needed the break anyway. It was so invigorating to work with the ladies at Cotton Fields Quilt and Knit last Thursday that I couldn't stand the thought of going back to working by myself at home over the weekend. This was the perfect getaway for a bit of a "working" vacation.

Yesterday, we decided to check out a couple of the quilt shops in the area and it was a great afternoon!
Quiltique was the first one on the list. (You can click the names of the shops to go to their websites and take a look around for yourself.) What a cool shop! Jan and Bob and their daughters Jennifer and Kara (I hope I spelled that right) have put together a beautiful space for quilters to see all that they have to offer...and it's a huge offering including Bernina sewing machines. They were worried that we showed up during a remodel/expansion but it made no difference to us. Not only is the shop beautiful but the staff is so friendly and helpful, too. They also picked up a few of my patterns so you'll have another place to shop for their shop when you visit or online when they get it all set up. Be sure to visit their website to see what I mean.

Next, we headed to Boulder City (near Hoover Dam) to a shop called
Fiddlesticks. This was another great surprise. It's located in a beautiful old, historic district. We spent a good deal of time there just chatting and laughing with Merry, the owner, Kathy, and Jan. Merry also picked up some patterns and already has a little display set up in her shop. They're another great bunch in another beautiful shop that you have to add to your list of shops to visit when in the Las Vegas area. I'm so glad we took the time to go to both shops and I think we may take another couple of hours this afternoon to visit more in the area. The hospitality here, alone, has been worth the trip.

It's nearly 6 p.m. and, despite feeling HORRIBLE from a nasty sinus infection I picked up over the weekend, we hit 3 more Las Vegas shops this afternoon. I'm so glad I didn't give in to my pounding headache and pass up the chance to see
The Christmas Goose, Fabric Boutique, and Nancy's Quilt Shop. Las Vegas has not one or two but FIVE fantastic quilt shops for you to visit. I'm not just being PC here. I kept thinking we'd eventually walk into a shop that didn't quite measure up but each and every one of them was as enjoyable and had as much to offer as the one before. The key to their respective successes was obviously the fact that they understand and cater to the needs of their customers.

The Christmas Goose is a great shop in the "country" category. After looking around awhile at the many bolts of fabric and samples I felt like I was in a shop that occupied an old building like Fiddlesticks. But it was just the owners' attention to the ambience of the shop that gave that feeling because it's located in a newer shopping center. They did a great job and have a knack for mixing brighter contemporary colors in, quietly, with the usual country palette they offer.

I was blown away by the amount of samples on display at Fabric Boutique and Nancy's Quilt Shop! There were quilts and wall hangings and any other quilted thing you could imagine hanging everywhere....all beautifully done. Both of these shops are bright and colorful with lots of fabric and a huge selection of patterns. Nancy's also has a section of the large store devoted to knitting and her customers that love it.

The most important thing, to me, about all of these shops is the way we were welcomed into them by a friendly and helpful staff and we felt completely at home. I'm thrilled that every one of the shops picked up my patterns so I hope you'll take a look at their sites and turn to them if you're in need of something you cant find in your local shop!

I'm looking forward to coming back soon but I better get back to work because I have to head home to Phoenix in the morning. Thanks for looking in on me :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Break time

I can't believe how much work I've gotten done in the last few days on top of all of the market preparations! You'll be glad to know I've designed two more new patterns that you'll be seeing sometime in the next month or so. One of them is based on the characters on the home page of my website from a very popular collection of fabrics I did called "Brazen Bluebirds". I'm not going to give it away but it's my favorite pattern design in a long time!

Tomorrow is the big Project Party at
Cotton Fields Quilt and Knit in Avondale, AZ. Be sure to visit their website. Mary and her staff are a great bunch and very knowledgeable and helpful! I'm really looking forward to it. We'll be working on the projects for a new book I'm doing with C&T Publishing for Fall 2009.

That's all for now. Break time is over :) Back to work!

Thanks for looking in on me.

Friday, September 12, 2008

To market, to market...

The last week has been absolutely crazy but I'm still kicking. I decided after lots and lots of consideration and brainstorming that I'm going to take the plunge and exhibit at Quilt Market in Houston at the end of October.

This isn't my first rodeo but it's the first time I've gotten a booth for myself and that I'm taking on all of the details and preparations (not to mention all of the expense) myself. I wanted to wait until my pattern line grew enough to be more marketable to the shop owners who attend. With the blast of all of the
new holiday patterns, it looks like it's big enough to take a stab at it. The orders have been coming in and growing on a daily basis and I have to say a big "thank you" to everyone who's been buying my patterns and books!

The thought of "I've bitten off more than I can chew" set in almost immediately and the to-do- list is horrificly long. Besides having to decorate a reasonably appealing booth, including making (or finding help to make) all of the booth drapes out of my new fabrics, there are so many samples of my patterns to make. I'll be spending the weekend doing some of that. I haven't had a free weekend in awhile but I don't even care. I'm pretty pumped about doing this and about how all of the hard work, and long hours seem to be paying off. I love what I do and it makes it even better when it's so well received. So thanks, again, for helping me get my line off the ground and wish me luck at market!

I know you'll understand if the blog updates aren't too frequent in the meantime but I'll try to get a word in now and then. Thanks for looking in on me :)