Shoot for the Moon #18

Working Away

I have been working hard to get loose ends tied up and to get the Ohio Stamps ready for my trip back to Columbus on Wednesday for their big shop hop. It is 10:30pm on Sunday night and I set aside all my work for the week and I was getting ready to go up to bed. Then I thought it might be cool for you to see what I did this week. Below is a picture of my stuff in progress.

This weeks work

This weeks work

I really accomplished a ton of work this week. I wrote the complete pattern for the OHIO statestamp, made all the patterns, and completed two sample tops. The two stamps are pictured above. To the left is the new Blue Bonnet floral. In the center are my new PIP pouches – instructions, patterns and 7 samples done. To the right are three more Bleeding Heart samples and on the bottom right is a forget me not I found cut out in a draw that I decided to put together. I also made a new product in my line. I am going to be having collections available of the florals. There will be 12 florals in a collection. The price will be 89.00 for the Collection of twelve. If you bought them individually it would cost 108.00 – so it is a good price if you wanted to aquire a bunch of florals for a large quilt.

Barn - July8July - 2009-4To the left see the new group package of Florals. This is Collection #1. I have four more flowers to add to make up my second collection. I just finished the three Blue Bonnet sample tops. I need to sew them up and photograph them for the cover and that will be the 20th floral.  I went ahead and finished up three more bleeding hearts for samples as well. I tried appliqueing the whole image down with invisible thread – let me tell you – that is the ticket! That really went so much faster than zigging every inch of the image – especially when it is small pieces and fussy lines. I plan to quilt heavily to set the floral off.  Part of selling patterns is having pattern samples. I supply my local shops with samples so I can get a good sense if the pattern is desirable. All quilt shops are very busy and they buy hundreds of patterns and books. The trick it to get your patterns featured and shown. While it is a ton of work for me it is worth it to get the exposure. I look forward to a time when Zebra Patterns is as common as McKenna Ryan or Atkinsin Designs. Their brand is so strong and well known that quilters trust the name and their patterns sell sample or not.

I also want to make patterns so unique and personal that the shop want to make them. I want them to come home from market with all their new acquisitions and say to their staff – we need to make this sample first! That is done with good patterns that will attract and inspire customers and have them eager to buy the pattern and the fabric and supplies to make that pattern.

July - 2009-3The other new product I have been working on is a PIP pouch. It is a neck strap with a pouch on the end that guild goers can show off their Pins, Identification/name and have a place for their phone/money. I am going to finish up the last few samples and get them ready for market. They are great for trade shows as well.Look at the black one on the right. It has all my pins and my business cards stored in a clear front pouch.

I love making things that have a specific use. I have all the directions and Pattern complete for this one also. The directions are the killers! It is very hard to write specific yet condensed instructions. I usually have to create several illustrations and this pattern was no exception. I think this will be well accepted. It works great!

July - 2009-5

Okay – so how cool is this? It is my first statestamp. “Beautiful Ohio” is the state song. The OHIO is written to remind people of Ohio State University without infringing upon any licensing rights. The cardinal is the state bird perched on a Buckeye limb – the state tree. There are a few buckeyes in the foreground bith open and cracked. The building featured is the state capital with a backdrop of lake Erie. The sun and rays were taken from the state seal. The carnation in the bottom right is the state flower. The red and black flower print to the left will be the backing. The rays were created with white organza. The little flag that is waving in the sunrise is the Ohio state flag. Every state stamp will include a FREE preprinted state flag exactlty to scale in every pattern. Of course the whole image is in the form of my signatire “stamp” format.  I have TX, MD, NY and CA on the list for the next statestamps.  It is so hard picking which ones to do next! I still have more City stamps to do. I generally let my sales guide me as to what the public wants. The BEACH Stamp has been wildly successful.

I have learned that I need to try to slow down. On the Beach stamp the first 50-100 stamps had some instruction errors. That is just a result of working too fast. The momentum of the business is intoxicating. I really thought I was going to sit back and relax and do some home improvement projects this summer – Oh well – you know what they say – The best layed plans of mice and men…..

The Barn

Okay – on to the Barn progress. Yes I have officially renamed the new garage/studio  – “the barn”. It looks like a barn. I am really liking the way it is looking.  The put in all the dormers. We have three facing our back yard and two on the opposite side. We did that so that in the studio area I have one large wall for designing.  I have been up in the studio 4-5 times and can hardly imagine really being up there. Originally we were going to have two domed windows on each end of the barn – well that did not work out – as when the trusses came there was little to no room for a full size dome. So – we went to plan B. We will just go for the light and have double windows on each end. They are doing roofing shingles now as you can see in photos below. The crew is very professional. They have been friendly and efficient. Our puppy Lacey has been in heaven scavenging around for left over lunch scraps. So far we have seen her with a half eaten burrito, a mini slider and the remains of a cookie.

Barn - July 19, 2009 - front angle

Barn - July 19, 2009 - East Side

The Barn - July 19, 2009 - North side

The Barn - July 19, 2009 - North side

Barn July 19, 2009 - North West view

Barn July 19, 2009 - North West view

The Barn - July 19, 2009 South East view

The Barn - July 19, 2009 South East view

So it is July – almost August. Where is the time going? It will be October in no time – then it is MARKET in Houston. I have everything in place to go to Houston for both Market and Festival for 11 days. Okay – I am spent – time for bed!

Hey I am looking for ideas for the next four flowers. Please post a comment if you have a favorite that is not already in the Zebra Floral line. I am thinking about a Primrose….what else would work?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cindy Reaper
    Jul 24, 2009 @ 23:02:20

    Hi Debra! I really enjoyed chatting with you about the iTouch today…and I really loved the Ohio Stamp! You are certainly an inspiration to me! Thank you.
    Florals you say? I personally really love Lilacs and 4 O’Clocks.
    Have a joyful weekend and August!
    Sincerely, Cindy

    Reply

    • zebrapatterns
      Jul 25, 2009 @ 01:10:17

      Cindy
      I am SOLD on an itouch! I too enjoyed meeting chatting. I am so happy that I was able to make a quilt to represent your great state – Ohio. Thank you for your kind words. Your new friend –
      Debra

      Reply

  2. sandy lynch
    Aug 08, 2009 @ 17:40:45

    Hi Debra, So enjoyed reading your blog today. I know I really need to start one.
    Love the Ohio stamp quilt. Very Neat. More flowers – how about an orchid of some variety or a slipper orchid from the woods. Can’t remember if you have that one.
    Keep up the good work.
    Sandy

    Reply

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