Spring 2016 Quilt Market Recap: The Luna Sol Booth

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Now that I've had a week to refresh after Quilt Market, it's time to talk about my fabric collection, Luna Sol, and all the awesome samples that I had on display!

Luna Sol draws its inspiration from many aspects of my life and personality, but the tl;dr version is the moon bunny. The moon bunny originates from Eastern folklore, and that is how I first heard about the concept as a child. During college, the idea of the moon bunny just stuck with me for some reason, but I wasn't thinking of it in the original context anymore. The character started morphing into something I used as a personal identifier. I refer to it as my "spirit animal" sometimes for simplicity because it's a confluence of so many ideas. It embodies themes of cycles, introversion, introspection, the nature of creativity. I think watching Watership Down for the first time helped cement all of those things together in my mind. The image of the ghostly Black Rabbit of InlĂ© and the song "Bright Eyes" by Art Garfunkel had an inexplicable impact on me. 

I'm sure most of you have heard the idea about how highly creative people tend to have turbulent emotional lives. I for one, totally relate to this short comic. Back at 2015 Quilt Con, even Heather Ross admitted she can't get through the process of designing a collection without crying at least once. I've dealt with depression since I was was eleven, and I honestly think it's the reason I became such an aggressive maker and illustrator. Somewhere along the way, I stopped thinking of the episodes as an affliction. Now, instead of being knocked on my ass when a wave hits, I've learned to ride it and let it fuel my internal exploration. When I feel empty and aimless, it drives me to find what is important to me. At the very least, making a stack of quilts and filling a sketchbook gives me a feeling of accomplishment to offset the lows. I guess you could say the moon bunny is the cuddly face of this cyclical life. He does his thing on the moon in low times and then blasts off like a comet when the tide comes in. 

The name Luna Sol, embodies this cycle as well. Night to day, totally natural. It's just the way I live, and the result is bright and colorful! With all that said, let's talk about the samples! Many of my samples can be seen in my look book with relevant details (dimensions, pattern availability, etc.), so if I don't mention the nitty gritty, check there. Samples marked with a * will be free patterns. Releases will be closer to September when Luna Sol ships to stores! All samples were made by yours truly unless stated otherwise. Yay for HMQG buddies!

 Let's start with the left wall! We'll go clockwise from the top. The blue Mia & Moi dress was made by my friend and fellow designer, Patty Sloniger, who started me on this fabric design adventure. Next is the Northern Lights* quilt which was pieced by Cheryl Watson and designed/quilted by me. Then we have a sunny Collegiate Tote. The bunny dress pattern was a surprise find during a Hobby Lobby run, so even though I schemed to outsource all the children's garment sewing to friends with kids, I found myself making a 4T dress. Go figure. We also have my billionth cathedral window pillow cover, sans pillow. At the center is a mini quilt that was actually one of the first quilt patterns I came up with for Luna Sol.

On the floor below sat a pillow version of Northern Lights*, one of three Easter Bunny Buddies made by Liz Pawlik, the Guild Duffel (a new pattern of mine coming later this summer), and the Matsuri Bag.

Here you can see a better view of the Northern Lights quilt*, a kaleidoscope mini by Stephanie Freeman, and the centerpiece, the Satellite Medallion! This quilt pattern is featured on the cover of the look book and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I made my first Alder Shirtdress too, but it stayed on the mannequin because it ended up not being very flattering on me. Giuseppe Ribaudo (AKA @giucy_giuce) made an awesome EPP pillow complete with pom poms (tutorial here)! Julia Eigenbrodt also made a pillow featuring a leaping bunny with her FPP wizardry. She also supplied several of her adorable 3D printed embroidery hoop necklaces that we sprinkled around the booth. 

On the right wall we hung up my Phased quilt* which I made using the Drunkard's Path dies from Sizzix. The round Moon Bunny bag* hanging beside it features an applique version of the logo from my selvedge. Below that, you can see the Sweet and Sassy dress made by Katie Christman that her daughter preciously modeled in the look book. Heidi Staples made the Planetary Mini Medallion* which will be part of my blog hop closer to the release date. Hilary Jordan made the Sketchbook Shirt for her son William, who dubbed it his "fireball bunny shirt." Karri Garza also got in on the kid's sewing with a Geranium Dress!

I made a patchwork lined drawstring bag at the last minute, which hung out next to the Crimson & Clover Train Case also made by Stephanie Freeman. There were four more large quilts that we didn't have room for on the walls. From top to bottom: Feathered Stars by Rebecca Bryan, The New Wave Quilt, Sunset Star* which was pieced by Debbie Grosskopf, and Night Bunnies* by Stephanie Kendron. You can see all of those (minus the New Wave) in the look book. Lastly we have the Sprocket Pillow that you can see better in the panorama towards the top of the post.

We displayed the look books, fabric, another Easter Bunny Buddy, and my Aurifil thread collection on the cardboard table. If you haven't seen the gorgeous thread colors to coordinate with Luna Sol, you can check out the post and interview on Aurifil's blog. All of the large quilts (minus Night Bunnies and Feathered Stars) were quilted using these threads, and they were heavenly to have. It's such a relief to have the perfect colors already at your disposal.

I hope you enjoyed all the pretty Luna Sol projects! You can check out the #LunaSolFabric hashtag on Instagram to see more and keep up with what we're making with it.

Spring 2016 Quilt Market Recap: An Overview

Sunday, May 29, 2016

As usual, I'm going to break up my Market recap into a few posts. This is just going to be a basic overview. I'll talk more about my booth and other booths in separate posts.

When Seth and I were at the airport this past Wednesday, "It Feels Like the First Time" by Foreigner came on the radio. I didn't think about it at the time, but it was some serious foreshadowing! We've wrapped up my fourth Quilt Market, but this time was a whole new experience. I officially debuted by first fabric collection for Windham Fabrics, Luna Sol!

Normally, I wouldn't bother starting at the airport, but the story is just too good. After we took our seats on our plane in Phoenix (connecting flight), I noticed a woman with a distinct haircut coming down the aisle. I whispered to Seth, "I think I know who she is. I think she's a fabric designer." She either noticed my intense staring or my "World's Okayest Quilter" shirt, because she sat down next to us. She was finishing up a phone call, and when she hung up, I spotted the contact's last name on her screen. Confirmed! So I leaned over and said, "Are you Heather Bailey?" She said yes. Cue my completely non-subtle OMG face. We had a great chat, and I even spied some of her sketchbook contents when she somehow managed to draw on the bumpy plane ride.

We arrived in Salt Lake on Wednesday night so I wouldn't feel rushed for my schoolhouse on the following day. My quilty BFF Julia joined us in the wee hours of the morning. I hadn't seen her since she moved to Ohio late last year, so I'm really glad she was able to come help/hang out! I tend to have trouble making decisions when I'm anxious, so Julia took over as my personal art director when setting up my booth. It turned out way better than I imagined!

After we set up, we immediately had to take down a large chunk of my samples to head off to my schoolhouse...which shared the same time slot as Tula Pink and Alison Glass. I only had about eight people come to mine, but it sure helped ease the pressure! Plus, it seems that a lot of my favorite designers had similar experiences with their first schoolhouses, so I didn't worry about it too much.

After re-staging the booth, we helped the Windham team set up for Sample Spree, which means we were able to scope out our prey and be perfectly staged when the madness began. I managed to be pretty good this time. I picked up Printshop, Porto, and Raindrop from Cotton + Steel, Hemma from Windham, and Shibori from Moda. 

The show went on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, during which I met many lovely shop owners and fabric lovers. I was able to take occasional breaks as well as come in early to see all the booths I wanted to see. Honestly, it was still a blur, but that comes with the territory. It was an amazing week, and I can't wait to do it again next year. ;)