REVIEW: Creative Arts Business Summit RETREAT In DC!

Creative Arts Summit
The Creative Arts Business Summit by Morna McEver Golletz is an event, a place where members and other creative entrepreneurs could gather, learn how to boost their businesses’ profits and connect with like-minded creative people.

Morna and I have been friends for years.We have also been guild members together. She had been after me for years to join her organization and to attend her summit. I was reluctant as it was expensive in both money and time commitment. Those of you who know me pretty well know I try to stay tuned in with the “universe.” That said, my first clue was Morna telling me repeatedly for years to join. My second clue was about two weeks prior to the event I got a coupon for 100.00 off from Checker Distributors. Then out of the blue my husband somehow saw something about the summit and told me I should attend! OK – I guess I am in! I signed up with an open heart and an open mind, but was thinking… this better be darn good for the money I was laying out and a 4 day time commitment.

This was the third year of the summit and there were about 30-35 people in attendance. Who attended? The majority were quilt pattern designers and book authors. There were a handful of long-arm quilters, an artist, Checker Distributors, Schmetz Needles, and a local shop owner. All participants wanted to either start their business or grow their business.

It was held in the Washington DC – Dulles area at a Hilton Hotel. The accommodations were nice, food was very good and the participants were welcoming and helpful.

This time of year Zebra Patterns is in the thick of many things. Business really gets busy, we are prepping for Spring market, and I am going to be teaching at a  Babylock event in New Hampshire with Nancy Zieman for the better part of next week. I just kept thinking, with all the work I have these better be good!

The short answer is “it was!” We started at 7:30-8:00 each morning and were deluged with information, clarification: useful information. We started with a focus and exercises to identify “WHY?” we were in business, or wanting to go into business. We identified our target market and learned ways to address that market. I was very pleased to see that I had done that over the past 10 years very accurately from the get go. When the social media/marketing expert spoke is when the summit really began paying off for me and Zebra Patterns.

The summit continued for three long days of fun but hard work. To wrap it up neatly I have a focused todo list targeting social media. I was on Pinterest but I was not using it to my best ability. I was on Facebook but not using it to reach out enough. I am not on Instagram, but hope to be soon. I learned how other designers were pricing lectures/workshops. I learn efficient ways to build a team that were cost effective and would free up time for me to do what I love most – design. I have names of embroidery digitizers and quilt pattern editors. I made a couple of new friends like Lisa Archer from Pickle Pie Designs and Susan Emory of Swirly Girls. It was worth it and I plan to attend next year.

Who would GREATLY benefit from attending? Any and all designers in the creative arts, shopowners, manufacturers would go home inspired and motivated. It is a jump start for new designers or anyone playing with the idea of becoming a designer for profit. The long standing established designers also benefit greatly. I love to learn and network. It was money and time well spent. I will attend next year! Thanks Morna.


I am at A Creative Professionals Business RETREAT In DC!

I took some time out and I am attending a Creative Summit in DC with Morna! See ad below. I will give you a wrap up after it is over! It was a last minute decision! It is nice to be sitting here in the Hilton Hotel relaxing!

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 7.38.34 PM

Great Conversation…Where Ya Been?

WYB Whole Quilt

After sending out an order last week we got an email from a quilter in Louisiana that we found inspiring. I wanted to share her email:

Gary, panels arrived today, thanks for the lagniappe* “Where Ya Been?” pattern.  I have had a very exciting journey in this life and at age 71, I got the idea to do a quilt of fond memories of my travels and adventures which actually started at age 40 believe it or not.  Starting on my 40th birthday, I started running and bicycling and in a 10 year period I ran 7 marathons in the US and overseas (1st marathon was in Athens Greece and last one in Germany), and bicycled across 3 states, twice across Iowa!  I have also lived in 6 states and I hope to capture all of this in a quilt.  An older sister started teaching me to quilt in August 2013 and I took to it like a duck to water.  I have discovered a new world in quilting and have met some really wonderful and talented people.  I wake up in the morning with quilting on my mind and go to bed at night thinking of all the projects I want to do.  I learned of Zebra patterns and the stamp collection at a local quilt shop.  I bought the regular size panel of Louisiana at the shop and wanted the mini panel which they did not have in stock.  I have been waiting since December for them to get the mini panel and when I looked at the large panel I have, I saw your name on the selvege and decided to just go to the source. That’s when I saw all the other state stamps in the collection and got the idea for my memory quilt.
Didn’t mean to go on so long and hope you are not sorry you asked the question!  I appreciate the prompt service and will shop with you again in the future and will tell other quilters where I found my panels. I know they will want to know.
 Thanks again and God bless.
*BTW – I had to look that word up…lagniappe*

lagniappe (/ˈlænjæp/ lan-yap) is a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase (such as a 13th doughnut when buying a dozen), or more broadly, “something given or obtained gratuitously or by way of good measure.”[1]


Reply from Debra:

Gary sent me your story and GOOD FOR YOU! You go girl! We live in Baltimore and about three weeks ago I took a running workshop. It was called Chi Running. Unfortunately it has been too cold and snowy to try it out. I am 52 and I lost 30 lbs last year and have been dedicated to yoga. I love it! Just this week I did a good handstand. Last month I mastered the forearm stand. It is so rewarding. Funny thing – I have two choices in yoga. There are old people’s yoga classes and power/ yoga peoples yoga. I take the power yoga and hang on for dear life! LOL. Most students are in their 20’s and early 30’s. There are about 3-4 of us 50 year olds that do pretty darn well. I wanted to add the running as cardio. I found your story compelling as I have had little doubts creeping in my head! I am also trying to focus on eating better with kale, and many fresh veggies and fruits. I know it is the right thing to do and when I do it I feel so much better. I am working hard to break my addiction to sugar! I do pretty well except for diet coke! I know it is so bad for you – but I crave it. When I lost the weight I did so with diet coke and water. I am making great strides.
Please send us a pix of your quilt when you are finished! Sounds like if you were nearby we would be good friends!

Reply from Jennie:

Debra you are an inspiration to me.  I would love to do today what I did at 50.  Keep it up and you will feel great.  I just lost 60 lbs. but did it sensibly under Dr. supervision.  When I stopped running in my 60s, the weight creeped up as I continued to eat like I was still running marathons and of course I wasn’t.  Took a sedentary job doing medical transcription and totally lost control of my weight and my health.  I am back on track now but exercise eludes me with my arthritis and joint pains.  I ran and biked in only a period of 10 years, but I did it hard and it finally caught up with me.  I do a little walking and stationary biking and have considered joining a yoga class.  It is such a great feeling to take charge and feel good in the process.  Keep up the good work. – Jennie

One of the best things about Zebra Patterns for me is meeting incredible quilters like Jennie. I have been working this business for almost ten years now. It is fun of course to design but the real reward is in sharing and lifting others up. As quilters we make things with our hands. We focus for hours on every detail of a fiber project. I  believe that all that positive energy gets infused in the quilt and radiates from that quilt forever! It is a form of meditation or prayer with a beautiful fabric product. Quilters are givers. Quilters are creators. I am so appreciative to be involved in such a warm creative community. I know now that with all the rewards of designing and lecturing my real job is to connect with people. My job is to teach them everything that I can within a given timeframe and listen and support. I have always set my intentions for classes and for lectures to leave people feeling inspired and good about themselves.
I hope Jennie’s emails inspired you. I have asked Jennie to send a pix of her quilt when she is done. Don’t you want to see it? I do!  Have a great day. If you are reading this and feel uplifted go ahead and do something for you! Start taking walks or short runs. Try eating a bit healthier. Go to lunch with an old friend. Yes I am speaking to YOU! It is not an accident that you are reading this and connecting with the message. So go do it! Now is the time. Send me an email and let me know how it worked out.
Namaste. – Debra
Namaste (/ˈnɑːməst/ nah-məs-tayHindi: [nəməsteː] a customary greeting when individuals meet and a farewell when they part. Namaste is spoken with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. This gesture is called Añjali Mudrā or Pranamasana.[6] In Hinduism it means “The divine light in me honors the divine light in you.”

Juneau Alaska!

An eagle, pine cones and forget-me-nots find their way into this snowy Alaskan scene! On a roll designing like crazy! Must be all this snow! Yes it is snowing again in Baltimore – We have 6 inches at 1am and it is supposed to snow all night!

Juneau Alaska

Anchorage Alaska!

…Like my friend Diane Doran would say….ooooh Pretty Colors!


ONTARIO – Complete!

It is so great to have such wonderful customers! I had several minor changes and additions based on feedback.  I am posting the final art for you all to see.

Some felt the map had too much stuff/others felt – not enough. I had Manitoba spelled wrong. We added Niagara/Horseshoe Falls. We added some pine trees here and there! The best change that I had: East and West on the wrong sides on original!! Guess my world is upside down! Take a look – it is a print! Should be available in 2-3 weeks. Follow us on Facebook too! Zebra Patterns

Ontario ProvinceStamp™ PANEL 18x21

ART QUILT for Brooks…

I finished my art for my son Brooks’ launch party. It is for his new non profit organization “Just Like You” that will launch on April 13, 2014!! There will be an art auction with international artists to raise money for the organization.

The piece is called “Freddie” in honor of one of the first openly gay men – Freddie Mercury of Queen who passed from aides. Obviously the rainbow colors represent gay pride. The rainbow is applied in a graffiti/paint like way to express his creativity. Love is Love was clear to Freddie decades ago. Being a graphic designer I love graphic items such as postage stamps. So I made Freddie his own stamp! I often use this genre of stamp borders in my work. I also love the stamp phrase…”Stick with it until you get where you are meant to be”. This piece is dedicated to my wonderful son who is making a difference!

I posted this on Facebook a few hours ago – people don’t know Freddie Mercury? Really? the gay guy from the seventies/eighties from Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody? Really?


Previous Older Entries


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 660 other followers