Friday, March 16, 2007

Blue, Blue, My World is So BLUE - continued

About a week later I decided to place a small ad in NEEDLEWORK RETAILER, a magazine that goes out to stitchery stores around the country. I decided to send a picture of STARRY NIGHTS because it was so different from my other quilts, and would surely catch the eye of store owners.

Well, it certainly caught the eye of the people at the magazine! The editor, Megan, called me and asked if they could use STARRY NIGHTS on the cover of their magazine, because they loved the colors of the design and it matched the BLUE cover of their magazine perfectly. I was delighted! And when she asked me to mail her the model, I hesitated and said," Well, actually, the model is being photographed for the Nordic Needle Catalog cover, so you'll have to call them and get them to mail the model directly to you." And that's exactly what they did.
And so, STARRY NIGHTS got to be on the cover of TWO publications in January. And as a result, I've been printing lots and lots of copies of STARRY NIGHTS....which pleases me no end.... I'm so delighted (and relieved) that stitchers DO like this pattern after all!

And I've learned some valuable lessons from this experience:
First, even when you're not totally sure how your project is going to look -- KEEP STITCHING, and trust that it will come out all right in the end....really;
Second, it pays to advertise. Yup, it really does;
And third, never, ever underestimate the power of being BLUE.

(And for those of you who might be interested: Starry Nights is not an actual's only 10.5" x 10.5" and stitched on 18 ct. needlepoint canvas, using LOTS of different #5 pearl cotton threads, DMC floss, and metallic ribbons. Please take a look on my website, listed on the right, to see more of my needlepoint quilt designs.)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Blue, Blue, My World is BLUE

This year has gotten off to a gallopin' good start for me. ...

Well, it really started back in November of last year, when I got a call from Sue & Roz at the Nordic Needle in Fargo, North Dakota. They were preparing their annual big catalog for the coming year and wondered if I had any new projects that they could use on the cover. They specifically requested something that was BLUE, because that was the color scheme of this year's cover.

Since I really, really wanted to be on the cover of their catalog, I frantically thought about the new projects I had underway, and the only BLUE one was a completely new idea of mine that was just barely started. I called it STARRY NIGHTS, because the inspiration was the swirly Van Gogh painting (and the song "Starry, Starry Nights" that kept running thru my head when I thought of this project). I wanted it to have an "art quilt" feel to it, and I wanted it to have lots of different star blocks swirling around in a blur of blues and purples.....

At this point, I wasn't really sure whether it would work out or not, but I took a big gulp and said to Roz,"Well, I do have a new blue piece called STARRY NIGHTS started...and I think I can get it finished, framed and mailed to you in two weeks." They were delighted to feature one of my pieces on the cover, and I was delighted to have one of my pieces on the cover, but after I hung up the phone I thought, "Oh, good grief, what have I promised?!? Is it even possible to finish this project so it looks decent - and not a mishmash of colors??? Yikes, what have I done??"

But as they say, fools rush in where angels fear to tread....and I was determined to get STARRY NIGHTS on the cover of that catalog! So.....I stitched. And stitched. And stitched. All day, from morning til late at night. For days..... I listened to books on tape; I listened to tv news, weather, soaps and talk shows. Real marathon stitching - I kid you not. And the whole time I'm thinking, "Is this thing working? Am I pushing this too far? Are the colors going to get muddy? Are stitchers going to like this? Or will they think it's a muddy mess?" I had no idea....I just kept stitching and trusting my instincts to follow the image I had in my mind, and hope somehow it would come out all right in the end. I didn't even have the luxury of stepping back or setting it aside to ponder for awhile....the clock was ticking on this one and I just HAD to keep stitching.

Once it was done, I framed it and sent it off to Nordic Needle. And took a deep breath of relief.
It was DONE. And time would tell if stitchers liked it....

to be continued.....