Ya ever wonder how in the heck so and so happens to get that newest unreleased fabric line or how in the heck did they make it into a national quilting magazine, and how in the heck so and so do this or that? Well let's discuss it!!!!
To answer all the questions above: So and so goes around knocking on doors. So and so is not someone who sits around and keeps the dust under their feet. They are an opportunist. They take the time and advantage of what is available to them. For instance you will see certain pattern designers having the newest unreleased fabric lines posted on their blogs. How does that happen? Well, there are several ways that happens; 1.) They become good acquaintances with the fabric designers themselves. 2.) They get to know who to ask in each fabric house for donations towards their next quilt pattern. Mind you there is a price for have to ask the fabric houses for the donation. You are obligated to complete that pattern before the fabric line releases. Reason being is that it helps market that fabric line for that fabric house. Some folks are good with this opportunity and some are not. 3.) Buying the not yet released fabric during Sample Spree at Quilt Market is another way some designers get their new not yet released fabrics. 4.) The fabric house or fabric designer will actually knock on the pattern designer's door, which by the way is very rare that this opportunity will happen unless the pattern designer has a well known name in the industry.
If you are not at the point of being noticed by the fabric houses and you are wondering how do you get noticed?
Other than having a good following, Quilt Market is one way to get noticed. Keep in mind the only way to get into Quilt Market is to have an up and running company making over $300.00 quarterly (I believe). To have a booth at market. Your pattern company has to be selling wholesale for over a year, a recommendation from a business associate from in the industry, invoices of wholesale receipts, and if you want to read more about all the requirements go here. To keep up on all things of International Quilt Festival go here. If you go to that page, mind you that Houston host both International Quilt Market and the Houston Quilt Festival. They are days apart from one another but two totally separate venues. Two other ways to get into Quilt Market; 1.) Know someone! Being friends with a designer or some one in the business and helping out with their booth will secure your way into quilt market. I caution though, if you are using or abusing your friendship to get into quilt market... well, I am sure you are well aware of the price that will follow, and you do not want that to ruin a perfectly good friendship now do ya? Anyway your conscience not mine!!! 2.) Writing a book will allow you to have the opportunity to get through the doors of quilt market too. 3.) Being a fabric designer, a quilt shop owner, or anyone in trade of the business end will allow you to get through those closed to the public doors!
If you can not attend Quilt Market try exhibiting and teaching at shows like the Sewing and Quilting Expo that travels around the country. Click on the Exhibit and Teach button at the bottom right of the page to find out more information and how to apply for the available shows.
Are you wondering how to get a quilt your design into a national quilting magazine?
Most publications will have a page dedicated on their website. Most still do have their actual address to send/submit in your pattern design via snail mail. See the inside of the table of contents of the magazine. You may not even hear back from them, if you do well --"congrats!" If you are interested in going the route of being in a magazine here are a few places to submit to:
Remember if you are submitting a project and it is directly to the editor please find out the editor's name and then address your written submission to them and not Dear Sir or Madam. Submitting a project is just like sending in your resume for a potential job interview. Remember this; if your project is accepted to any publication it is their property until they are done with it. That time period may be a couple of months to over a year before you as the designer receive your rights back to the project.
Back to the fabric houses again...
Some fabric houses have webpages for want-to-be-designers, full fledgling designers, these pages are great for the want-to-be -designers because they will get your feet wet for quilt designing if you never in your life designed a quilt before. Plus it will also help build your audience too. Moda Bake Shop happens to be one of those places to go to get your feet wet, but first you have to try out or submit a few examples to them in their fabric lines. Go to their page and click on the "apply here" link on the upper right side of their page when you are ready. If you do hear back from them, "Congrats!" Riley Blake Designs is another fabric house that offers the same opportunity as Moda. Click here to find out more information.
Books, writing a book is long and trying for some folks but in the end it is well worth it for them. Would it be well worth it for you? I'll leave that thought to you! These days I have noticed a trend that has been happening among patterns designers. It follows as so: Realizing that you can design, gather a following, get lots of love over your designs, start selling individual patterns, inquire submissions to fabric houses, and magazines, and then inquire about writing a book and then after that you have made it into the industry. Wow right? It really does go in that order. In order to get a full fledged book deal you have to have your name out there and that is part of why knocking on all these doors is so important if you want a book deal. Beyond getting your name out there for getting a book deal have in mind a unique approach for your book, publishers need to know how to market it. Also a query letter is required, and what a query letter is, is a proposal of what your book is about. Ex: focusing on beginners, and all quilters alike in making them become confident in sewing and quilting like Elizabeth Dackson has done with her book, "Becoming a Confident Quilter." If you are seriously interested in writing a book and you are not sure of how to go about it I would suggest to start inquiring via online or your local library on how to write a book better yet a craft book. One author, although he is a fictional writer has posted on his webpage on how to get started. I found this advice through Nicholas Sparks when I was inquiring about a newly released book he had written. You can find Nicholas' advice here.
Publishing companies for craft books:
Now if you think you really have it in the bag and want to go big time in having your own crafting TV show or magazine, I applaud you, but you are not sure where to make your television show or magazine proposal. Go no farther than New Track Media. I have really no idea what it takes to get that far but if you do and you are there, it sure would not hurt to go knocking on their door when you are ready. I do know this, be sure you have all your duckies in a row (research, etc.) before knocking on their door!
Lastly if you are in the very small realm of the blogging world like me and you want to inquire about some interviews, well, ya got to start knocking on some doors yourself as well. So far out of the nine people I had inquired about for interviews only three of them never responded back. I was very much surprised in the yes's I got over the no's. What I am saying it doesn't hurt to start knocking on some doors because you never know what opportunities that may open behind them. Best of luck on your door knocking opportunities!