I thought it was still eight months away… really.
No, this doesn’t have anything to do with babies though it does have everything to do with gestation –. It’s about life-cycles and planning months and months for something that will be over in a few days. It sounds more like a wedding, doesn’t it? (Not the actual marriage part… just the ceremony.)
I just started here yesterday and Spring Market was still a long way away. But it’s been almost two-and-a-half months now, hasn’t it? As busy as it’s been, the pace is changing. It’s picking up – noticeably. I remember that from when I did my own thing, but this is different. Bigger. More. Faster. There are daily and weekly deadlines getting “stuff” finished and prepared for catalogs, and for sending off to sales reps. Silly me… I thought we could just send them some fabric swatches and that was all it took.
As big as Spring Market is, there is also a huge release of new collections coming next month. Though the fabric won’t ship until August and September, shops will begin seeing the fabrics next month. So while the work readying for Spring Market is in full-swing, this has to be done first.
Some of the prep work involves compiling information. Lots and lots of information for lots and lots of collections. Even with all the technological advances that allow us to transfer information digitally and online… some folks still want the paper.
It’s crazy how the timing works – and yes, it makes it all a little hard to keep track of sometimes. For the collections that will debut in a few weeks, the design work was finished as much as five or six months ago. Early yardage began arriving in the warehouse a few weeks ago to be rolled onto bolts for the sample room. The designer yardage is cut from that and shipped to them for samples – for quilts and patterns that were often designed months ago. Maybe not completely finished, but most of the designers have quilts in mind as they’re working on the collections. The craziest part is that their next collections are already submitted and in the works – many are actually finished.
This is some of the new fabric arriving…
Seriously?! Did you think I’d be able to show you any more than this?
Did I mention that when these collections start being shown to the shops, the designers be able to start showing them to you and talking about them?
Let it suffice to say that you won’t have to wait long… and you won’t be disappointed. Are there new patterns coming from the designers of these collections? Yes. And they’re good, and yes, you’re going to want them. (Trust me!)
Yardage is also cut for the cap-sets – headers, flippers, fabric swatch sets, etc. – and those are trimmed, layered and assembled. That’s what’s going on in the bottom half of the picture below.
The past few weeks have taught me an appreciation for a skill that I’ve yet to master. Because I’m working with “fabric” that isn’t available yet, I’ve been starting to create quilts entirely on the computer with digital images. I’ve created them in my head but since I’m still learning InDesign, I need help with much of it. Folks are being very patient while I adjust to learning to speak in terms of finished sizes and SKUs instead of measured sizes and lights or darks. I don’t know yet if doing it on the computer is a learned skill or an innate talent but I’ll let you know when my InDesign skills improve. (Yes, I’m getting a crash course in that… emphasis on the crash part.)
The challenge for me is one that you probably already know – a lot of images don’t look like the quilt and vice versa. Over the years, I’ve seen digital images that were terrific while the quilt was a little less than that. The reverse is true too, there are spectacular quilts that don’t photograph well, and that can’t be reproduced digitally with as much success. One thing is definitely true, some people are really, really good at it.
Just so you know… I still can’t get used to walking past this fabric without wanting to touch it. I want to pull pieces out and go make something. I’m still easily distracted by the shelves with pre-cuts and bolts of fabric that are on their way out of the sample room, it’s either being shipped to a designer or going over to the warehouse to make room for the new fabric. It’s all just so wonderfully deliciously tempting.
Chelair teased that it won’t take long before I’ll finally accept that I can’t sew all of it… that I have to let some of it go.
But she’s right. I’ve got six patterns to finish writing in the next week or so.
Or is it one pattern to finish in the next six weeks?
No. I didn’t think it was the last one either. That would have been too easy.
Happy Tuesday! And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!