Yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to two more groups of quilters – this time at the Craft Warehouse in Gresham, Oregon.  I had the displeasure of forgetting my camera!  My allergies were also acting up and Angela couldn’t join me so I didn’t video tape the talk either (a few people have requested it).  But I’ll be doing it again next month in Beaverton and hope to go with all my cameras blazing so all is not lost…picture-21

The “Quilt Party” as they call them, meets on the third Thursday of each month in Gresham, at 11 am and 7 pm.  “Party” is a great name, they were lots of fun!  These women are amazing quilters (I know, there was show & tell at the end) but didn’t take it too seriously – lots of laughing going on.

I design fabric for South Sea Imports and I’m told my fabric can be found all over the US as well as Australia, New Zealand and I believe parts of Europe.  Usually I’m coming up with ideas from my studio and brainstorming with the office in California.  I do sneak out and look through different stores that sell fabric from time to time.

But having the chance to interact with the people who are really using the product, asking what they like, what colors they want, what themes they wish they could find… that is some valuable information! I had a long discussion about what makes or breaks different “basics” groups (those textured fabrics that come in a rainbow of colors and can be used as background or fillers with all sorts of things).  I took a poll about some ideas I have been tossing around for a new collection and got feedback… and I had a great time!

Today I am back in my studio with new ideas swimming around in my head.  I’ll be making notes so I don’t forget anything when I’m done blogging.  I wanted to share my experience and hope you take a minute to think about people and places locally that can help you stay in touch with the end user of products you are interested in designing for… offer to talk to groups if you like to do that or go sit in and connect one-on-one.  You will be amazed at the ideas you come up with!

– Tara

P.S.  If you live in the Gresham area but haven’t discovered your local Craft Warehouse, CLICK HERE.

P.P.S.  If you live in Oregon, Washington or Idaho  and haven’t discovered the joy of a Craft Warehouse store, CLICK HERE and see if there is a location near you.  This family-owned store is a mecca for the creatively inclined!  I’ve never met a Craft Warehouse I didn’t like!

P.P.S.S. If you want to design fabric and need help learning to create repeat patterns in Photoshop, don’t forget my set of 2 eBook tutorials – it’s all the info you need and nothing more!  CLICK HERE