Quilt Market 2012 Part 2: The Whole Story

How about a good story today. Yes?

This is the tale of how the OUT TO SEA fabric line came to life at the International Quilt Market in Kansas City, Missouri 2012.

Once upon a time…

(which is how all good stories start!)

I had a dream of a nautical collection for children that was whimsical, classic, fresh, full of children and stories, and seaside daydreams, and I just couldn’t get it out of my head.

It had to have all the right parts, and nothing less. Boy fabrics, and girl fabrics…seamlessly coordinating, but still maintaining very distinct color feelings.

I needed to tell the story of children playing pirates, and dreaming of mermaids…and find just the right palette that parents would find beautiful too.

There had to be maps for voyages.

Characters to play the parts.

I needed prints for little tiny projects.

And prints for great big large projects.

I dreamed of making nautical very feminine…

But not letting go of the masculine “ARRRR….” that we all love so much.

I wanted it to be sweet enough for the baby-est of projects

But sophisticated for the ladies to use too.

{Image from here}

It needed to spark new ideas for quilting…

But be JUST the right size to make a statement for apparel as well!

I needed the Navy blue to really shine and not get overpowered by the traditional heavy reds…so I let it coordinate with just the right pinks, blues, greys and oranges to make it a modern and fresh take on a nautical theme.

And it all had to coordinate in just the right way!

 * * * * * * *

But I needed to set the stage.

I wanted people to SEE all the possibilities I saw, and have had for the past 14 months!

I told my husband that I dreamed of a Cape Cod Cottage beach house on the coast…with a children’s room full of bunks, porthole windows…and weathered wood walls.

(ahem…in pretend life…not real life, or he would have fainted on the spot:)

I roughed out a (rough!) sketch

Showed him a couple pictures on Pinterest…

And next thing I knew, he was tearing down our (very old, falling over and needing to be replaced) fence.

Little did I know that our backyard could come all the way to market with us, and totally set the stage.

It’s the real deal! Leaves still attached and all!

Kenneth built the booth in our (very short) garage…

We packed everything in our minivan and uhaul trailer….

and drove 2 days straight to Kansas City!

But when we got there, we realized that we had built the booth for the wrong corner (I missed the memo that there had been a switch…I have made really silly mistakes in the past, and this is at the top of my list now!) so Kenneth would have to re-wire all the lighting, and rebuild 1/2 of the booth which basically put us about 8 hours behind. Take that with 90+ degree heat and humidity inside the building and two very long 14 hour days setting it up, and we were spent!

But of course, we still had loads of fun. It helps being married to your best friend and construction manager:)

Proof that he forgave me after about 14 minutes of discovering that bad news is in the video. He’s a champ.

Thank goodness for both of us being really quick on our feet thinkers. And for a local Home Depot!

{image from here}

I still managed to dash upstairs to all the anxious attendants just antsy to see all the debuts at market. With sawdust in my hair I dashed up to present at Schoolhouse (where you attend classes presented by companies and people showing at market) and then dashed back down to get all in order for the 3 day show.

But the show was a success. At the start of the second day, I turned around to see a committee of people with a big fat ribbon…and I was speechless!

Quilt Market is an amazing show, full of incredible talent. And so when they awarded me with the Creativity Award, I literally burst into tears. It was well deserved after our hiccup and creative problem solving to get it up in time!

But the REAL thanks goes to all the friends who helped me sew up all the projects you see in the booth! I will be sharing LOTS more on that later, but this story….while it started as a very clear idea…sprung into a beautiful project that was so successful because of all the people involved! I can’t thank my family and sewers enough!

I’ll be sharing more on this later…but each project in the booth was designed for a BLOG TOUR once the fabric is launched August 5th. I’ll be featuring each project here (and more!) with links to the respective sewer who will have a Free Tutorial and/or pattern available for you to make your own! Stay tuned in July for that.

So that is the story of how OUT TO SEA fabric by Sarah Jane was created and managed to sailed the across highway 80 to Quilt Market and and back again.

It was an amazing journey, and I plan on doing it again….and again….and again! Ken loves to build sets, and I love to design fabric, so I think we’re in this for the long haul.

My next adventure now is to see what you all make with this!! I can’t wait to share in all your projects too!

And because all good stories need to end with something funny and sweet, I’ll send you off with this darling Narwhal.

(Tutorial coming with him too….can’t wait for July!)

The End.

(Oh…I nearly forgot….did you spy embroidery designs? I did. Want to make them? I’ll be posting them next week so you can get started! Yay for new embroidery designs!)

(And one last thing…You can see many of these images on my Pinterest Board here. Enjoy!!)





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  • http://www.meisi.es Meisi

    Sarah!!! I am impressed!! That’s a lot of creativity, energy and talent!! You deserve that Creativity award!

  • http://thalitadol.blogspot.com Thalita Dol

    So so very beatifull!!
    How amazing is everything, the fabric line, the booth, the projects… And you and your husband look so cute working together!
    Many many hugs from Brazil!!

  • http://polkadotskies.etsy.com Elizabeth

    Your corner of quilt market is delightful! I love the new lime! Can’t wait to see it in person!

  • Nicola

    Out of this world (dare I say over the rainbow?) what a great team! And congratulations on the award and another amazing collection x

  • Sara

    Your hubby and you are so sweet together. I love the pic where you are blowing a kiss to one another:)

  • Jenni

    Wow, absolutely gorgeous, love these fabrics!

  • Melissa H

    I had been squinting at the smaller pictures posted previously, trying to sort out the details of several of your projects…. such a treat to see so many up close :) And your hubby, what a blessing!! You two make an awesome pair, can’t wait to see the beautiful booths you two conjure up in the upcoming years <3

  • Kim

    What a journey! Love all the pictures – and you certainly do have a great hubby and wonderful friends and family. Can’t wait for the embroidery designs next week!!!

  • http://Www.ruthdevos.com/blog Ruth de Vos

    Oh, I love those bunk beds… and the lights… and…. well, all of it, really! I’m looking forward to gifting some of this fabric, and an embroidery pattern/kit to my daughter for her 8th birthday this year, in anticipation of some mother-daughter sewing time!

  • http://littleblessing-luerssens.blogspot.com/ Bethany

    Wow! You guys did an amazing job! I am in love with your current fabric and now I know I need this fabric too since my kid’s names are Jack and Ella!

  • angela

    Just amazing. You are so talented. I love everything you did here. I loved Children at Play, and you have hit it out of the park again on Out to Sea. Good for you!

  • http://www.happylittlecottage.blogspot.com debbie @ happy little cottage

    I LOVE everything in your booth. And I LOVE the story of you and your hubby working as such a great team! Cannot wait to play with this fabric!!!!!

  • http://reidgirlshandmade.blogspot.com Sarah Elizabeth

    Your booth is incredible – It would be the most darling kids room, worthy of Pottery Barn! I can’t wait for the tutorials/fabric! Thanks for sharing.

  • Karin

    Thanks for taking us on your trip with you! Congrat’s- so well deserved! And I’m so glad we got to see YOUR outfit! Super cute:)

  • Sharon Buford

    Love this line and your booth is SEW cute. I don’t have any little ones but I sure hop to find the whole line to make ME something amazing!

  • http://lifeonalimb.blogspot.com Delores

    Oh my goodness, I LOVE the pirate dolls!

  • http:dottyred.blogspot.com suzie

    a feast or the eyes

  • http://www.lalelilolu-illustration.com/ Lu Azevedo

    You’re so talented, Sarah! I just love this collection, the colours, the characters, everything matching so perfectly! Well done! Your story is very inspirational and I love to see that your husband is an essential part of all this.

    Great work!


  • http://www.thisismeinspired.blogspot.com Stef

    Amazing! Absolutely amazing! You and your husband clearly make an incredible team. And I’m so excited for the blog tour! Every single thing in your booth is just so beautiful! Congratulations!

  • Laura

    Congratulations on all of this. I just found you through Lindsay at The Cottage Home blog, and I just cannot WAIT to get my hands on that fabric! Your designs just really sum up so much of what I remember fondly from my childhood and what I hope my daughter has opportunity to delight in finding. So excited for you (and for my daughter, who will be getting a new wardrobe and bedroom makeover come August)!

  • Alice S

    I’m blown away! I loved the fabric that when you showed it a few days ago, but I just LOVE what you’ve done with it as far as all of the adorable projects. I’ve got lots of ideas of things to do with it too! Congratulations on a very well deserved award.

  • http://www.cutsewironrepeat.blogspot.com jenny


  • http://www.inchmark.squarespace.com Brooke Reynolds

    Sarah.. It looks AMAZING. I know the limitations of building a booth for Quilt Market, and you guys just really outdid yourselves. Maybe you should make booths for a living?!! (And I adore that sweet anchor print.. it’s really such a great collection all around!)

  • http://ellekeepsmoving.com ellen rowley

    you and your hubby are INCREDIBLE. seriously, your booth was absolutely gorgeous. you are an inspiration!!

  • Kathi T

    Incredible! So glad that you share my dreams. I have always loved nautical themes, clipper ships, & pirates. I am sharing this with my daughter-in-law who is an artist and owns a lake house with her family. Hopefully they will use some ideas. I hope to decorate my greenhouse(we use it as a dressing room for the pool in summer)with this theme too.

  • http://www.karenchatters.com Karens Sew Hub

    There are no words to describe my desire, needs and wants for this ENTIRE collection. It’s amazing and I can’t wait to own it all. Congrats to you!!

  • Heather

    I can’t wait for your fabric to be available, every peek of it I get makes me want it more and I can’t wait for the embroidery patterns. My boy and girl love to pretend they are pirates. We are a Coast Guard family and they love all things having to do with the ocean and adventure.

    You and your husband make a great team!

  • http://www.isabells-umbrella.com Ashley

    What a beautiful booth, I wish I could of been there to see it this year. Congratulations on the new lovely line of fabric, for the much deserving awards, and for being such an inspiring person!

    You and Kenneth make the perfect team!!

    Best Wishes,

  • http://kateyz.blogspot.com Katie

    You did such a fantastic job! Your booth was definitely deserving of that award! Looking forward to the fabric and those cute new embroidery patterns!

  • gina f.

    you are amazing and most definitely one of the most creative people i know! so glad you have a husband who is a problem solver and makes the tough patches fun. You guys make an awesome team. Yay for patterns!!! i will be on the look out. Happy Friday!

  • http://www.tickleandhide.blogspot.com Jodi from Tickle & Hide

    Congratulations! This is definitely my most wanted line for 2012! I have ideas just pouring out of me! Can’t wait. :)

  • http://www.something.com Sue

    You are such a creative person AND have such a wonderful supportive family – God Bless

  • http://www.myvintagemending.blogspot.com Renee

    As one of your biggest fans and a fellow mom…I must tell you how excited I am to get my needle in your newest fabrics. I savored you last fabric and enjoy your gracious take on children and life. Thank you for continuing to inspire…smiles…Renee

  • Jen

    wow! SO CUTE.

  • http://www.craftymumma.com Gab

    Hi Sarah,

    I just wanted to ask if the booklet of your fabric collection will be available thru your store? I remember when you released the Children at play collection I bought the booklet direct from you and was hoping I would have the same opportunity this time :) Congratulations on another GORGEOUS range and a BEAUTIFUL quilt market stall! xx

  • http://cleanmama.blogspot.com Becky – Clean Mama

    Oh Sarah! This line is so beautiful and nautical and perfect! Kudos to you – I can’t wait until it comes out!
    xo, Becky

  • Amanda

    OK,I am sure you have heard this a 1000X by now but this collection is amazing. Your booth was amazing. You and your husband are amazing (and adorable together). Congratulations on your win and your collection. It was well-deserved. Wow! That narwhal!!! Love him!!!

  • http://tabitha.synthetiklabs.com Tabitha

    So perfect! You did a wonderful job with this line and your booth. I can’t wait until August!!

  • http://rachelboothhappilyeverafter.blogspot.com Rachel Booth

    Sarah–I LOVE this collection!!! I am literally counting the days until the fabric is available, and buying as much of it as I can for my little girl! It’s the perfect combination of feminine, strong, and playful that I am looking for her. She’s in a nursery now, but I want to do a “big girl” room for her in this sort of theme!!! :)

    Kudos to you for an amazing job!! Can’t wait to purchase this gorgeous collection!!!

    p.s. if there’s anywhere that’s selling it prior to August, I would LOVE to know where!!!

  • Amber H.

    I have to say that I’m in love with this line. Our triplets are moving into big kid bed in a few weeks I have been struggling with what to do with their rooms. I’m pretty sure I have found it here. You are a very talented person and wish you all the best.

  • Amber

    I’m just in love with this line. You are a very talented person and wish you all the best. I have been trying to decided what to do with our triplets room when the move into their big kid beds. I have to say I have found it! I just can’t wait.

  • http://savvysuzy.com Suzy

    You two make a great team. Not only are you creative, but that was a really savvy use of materials. I’m a real fan of maps, so your new line really struck a cord with me.

    You’re definitely bringing out the kid in me when I see your art. Congratulations!

  • Melanie

    It’s wonderful and inspiring! I’m really looking forward to this fabric and the embroidery designs. I think there may be pirate costumes in my kids’ futures. Congratulations on the very well deserved ribbon. Your designs and your booth are in fact very creative, whimsical, classic and fresh. Everything you wanted you have definitely achieved here. I hope you will share which patterns you used in the display clothing. I recognize a new Oliver and s dress, but I love that tie neck blouse and the keyhole dress with the border print.

  • Emmy

    Holy smokes!!!! You, and your hubby, are incredible! Your designs are so lovely, and I’m so excited for you :) I can’t wait to find these, and your other fabrics, to make into something fun!

    P.S. I love your blog– I always feel so inspired whenever I read your posts!!

  • Tamara

    Congratulations Sarah and Kenneth on your amazing efforts and the award – worth it isn’t it! Can’t wait for this fabric to be available. My head is swimming with ideas.

  • http://allie-oopssweethappylife.blogspot.com/ Allie

    Oh. My. Goodness. You have created my favorite fabric EVER. I can’t wait to get my hands on it…I’m going to have to sell a child…just kidding, lol. Honest, for reals, I can see why you won the award, congratulations!!!!!

  • Karen

    Congratulations on your award! It was well-deserved!

  • Teresa

    Love, love, LOVE your new line (loved the last one, too!) Thrilled to hear that we will get to make every project displayed in your booth…. I may need to adopt a granddaughter so I have a purpose for the girly side. I have several great nephews who will benefit from the boy stuff. So much FUN!!
    (and yes, your hubby is awesome, too….y’all make a GREAT team!!!!!)

  • http://isenbergers.blogspot.com Dana

    Love it!! Good job. :)

  • http://giora-china.blogspot.com Giora

    I came to you via twitter. The pictures are so beautiful that you might want to create a picture book using them, instead of illustartions. The armchair in particular is well done. Best wishes to you and your family.

  • http://www.veronikalaveydesign.com Veronika Lavey Design

    Absolutely amazing! What a beautiful set and what a wonderful husband. I was oooohing and aaaaahing while reading your post and seeing your fabulous photos. I’m thinking of one day attending a show with my dolls. You’re such an inspiration to me! – Veronika

  • Cherie

    Oh my gosh I just can’t wait for this fabric release. And the second I spotted the embrodiery design… oohhhh I can’t wait til next week!
    You rock. What a great booth to match the whole fabric story.

  • http://hellopasadya.blogspot.com Danie at Pasadya

    Everything you did is wonderful! You deserved that ribbon, for sure. I’m so impressed with you and your husband’s work!

  • http://meagsandme.blogspot.com Meagan

    I adore the girl line (well, I love the boy side too). It’s so adorably feminine and nautical- who knew that was possible? The pink is just perfect. I hate making clothes, but I can’t help dreaming of the dresses my daughter can have out of this line. LOVE.

  • http://Www.mypincushion.blogspot.com Stephanie

    Oh it is all so precious!! I can’t wait until August. Any chance I can get this amazing fabric sooner??? I would love to create with it now! :)

  • Kimberly

    You did a fantastic job on this set and this fabric line. I’m in love with it. Literally. I have a love for almost all things nautica maybe because my husband was in the military for 10 years. I love the beach. It’s the place I can get the most natural pictures of my children having fun it seems. :) I first seen this line on sew sweetness and went back a couple days later to figure out whose line this was. I looked you up and found your blog and this is my second or third time on your blog. And I’m your new follower on pinterest. :) I have a craft/homeschool room I’m having visions this line. I have a very small house with a very limited budget, I’m definately saving my pennies and I can’t wait for the blog tour in July!!!

  • Sarah

    I seriously almost squealed when you said that there will be a blog tour with tutorials on some of the clothing items in your booth. Yay!! Some of the items look like Oliver & S designs, and the fabric weight looks just perfect for the dresses and boys button-up. I can’t wait for this fabric line to come out. Saving my pennies…

  • http://pearlavenuestudios.blogspot.com/ Lisa Bivona

    i love a good story, gorgeous!
    hope you are feeling better soon.
    I have a lot of catching up to do.

    my best,

  • britt s.

    sheesh. every time i hop on here, i am in awe of you! i just can’t believe it! just can’t… so great to see you and hubby’s cute faces. even if it is only in photos :(

  • http://www.scmommies.blogspot.com Diana

    I have visited this page about 100 times, I love it all! But once we get the fabric how can we get the patterns for the quilts and clothes? Will you be selling those?
    Thanks, Diana

  • http://www.scmommies.blogspot.com Diana

    Oh I just read it in your post, sorry!

  • http://helpfulannalisa.wordpress.com annalisa

    big fat ribbon…perfect!

    big fat post…priceless!

    you’re awesome.

  • Pingback: Sarah Jane Studios()

  • http://twowednesdays.blogspot.com/ Jane

    Oh that is fab – I love all the projects – think I’d better start saving for August now as I am smitten with this fabric line.

  • http://www.minimepaperdolls.com Hannah @ MiniMe Paperdolls

    In complete and utter AWE! Amazing. The End. :)

  • http://www.centralnjemilyroseathome.blogspot.com Shari @For the Little Doll In Your Life

    Congratulations on your award Sarah. You SO deserve it and are so inspiring to me.

  • Katy

    I am really excited about the pink map pillow! My daughter would LOVE that for her room! Crossing my fingers for a tutorial on that one!